By: Grace Carr
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Monday recommendation that the phrase “pregnant woman” be changed to “pregnant people” in a U.N. document is overblown.
“Of course pregnant women is an acceptable term,” May’s spokesperson said Monday at a Westminster press briefing, according to The Telegraph.
May’s statement comes after the FCO suggested the phrase “pregnant woman” needs to be more inclusive and changed in a U.N. treaty. The FCO’s suggestion on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights claims the wording excludes pregnant transgender individuals — there have been two pregnant transgender people on record in the U.K.
The treaty says “pregnant women” are protected and not subject to the death penalty, reported The Times.
“We requested that the U.N. human rights committee made it clear that the same right extends to pregnant transgender people,” FCO officials told The Times. (Related: ‘Men’ Get Pregnant Too, British Government Declares!).
Some feminists weren’t happy about the possible terminology changes. “This isn’t inclusion. This is making women unmentionable,” said prominent feminist writer, Sarah Ditum. “Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult.”
The British government is also considering cutting a census question asking citizens to identify gender and biological sex for the 2021 census. (Related: UK Census May Eliminate ‘Intrusive’ Gender Question).
“We strongly support the right to life of pregnant women, and we have requested that the Human Rights Committee does not exclude pregnant transgender people from that right to life,” an FCO spokesperson said.