Democratic Representative Cori Bush, a new addition to "The Squad" group from Missouri, is facing an online backlash after referring to women as “birthing people” during her address to Congress on Thursday.
Speaking to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committees about her own tragic experience of nearly losing both her children after being neglected by doctors, Bush, 44, has vowed “to protect Black mothers, to protect Black babies, to protect Black birthing people, and to save lives."
Sharing her emotional address on Twitter, the first-year lawmaker reiterated the much-hated term:
“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain. My children almost became a statistic,” she wrote.
Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain. My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic.— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) May 6, 2021
I testified about my experience @OversightDems today.
Hear us. Believe us. Because for so long, nobody has. pic.twitter.com/rExrMXzsSQ
Despite receiving strong support from the left camp, the lawmaker’s choice of language has angered many, with netizens complaining that Bush has downgraded the role of women to “birthing machines” with her attempt of inclusiveness.
I understand why people want an inclusive term but can we find one that doesn't reduce make it sound like we're birthing machines— techLurker (@lurker_tech) May 6, 2021
Women. You can say women.— Stop scolding me, I'm vaccinated (@jtLOL) May 6, 2021
More people would hear you if you didn’t insist on using nonsense phrases like “birthing people.”— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) May 6, 2021
Yes, "birthing people" grates the ears a bit and it was completely unnecessary and obviously distracting to include.— John Roush (Mr. Jack || Axel Gear) (@Mr_Axel_Gear) May 7, 2021
I just hope people can understand how severe the actual problem being discussed is. Doctors have a very weird variance in diagnosing pain across demographics.
I’m a big fan of giving mothers the respect they deserve by calling them mothers.— Lucas 🛸 (@LucasLucas2002) May 6, 2021
Not "birthing people." MOTHERS. Jeesh. Stop with the moronically woke linguistics.— Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) May 6, 2021
Steve Cortes, a Hispanic Trump supporter, then pointed out with sad irony that upcoming Mother’s Day could be re-named "Birthing Peoples’ Day" following Bush's comments.
“Birthing people.”— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) May 6, 2021
This upcoming Sunday is no longer Mothers Day, it’s Birthing Peoples’ Day. https://t.co/Wkr2P7wUk6
The use of gender-neutral terms remains a hot topic in the US, with liberals often called out for being too quick to dismiss more conservative views on the issue. Following the online storm, Bush has tweeted to her critics, accusing them of “racism and transphobia."
I testified in front of Congress about nearly losing both of my children during childbirth because doctors didn’t believe my pain.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) May 6, 2021
Republicans got more upset about me using gender-inclusive language in my testimony than my babies nearly dying.
Racism and transphobia in America.
According to the Democratic politician, “Republicans got more upset” about her use of “gender-inclusive language” than about her “babies nearly dying.” But some have disagreed – the issue has nothing to do with GOP members, several users have pointed out, calling the use of the phrase “really dumb."
I'm not a Republican. I am a Black mother. It's OK to say that because that's who you were referring to. It's Black mother's who are dying at a higher rate than anybody else. Not birthing people.— GooglerInChief (@R0zzyB0wden) May 6, 2021
Two things can be true at once:— Obi-John Kenobi (@Illian_Hunter) May 7, 2021
1) What you experienced was terrible and we should make changes so others don't have that happen to them.
2) You saying 'birthing people' was really dumb and you knew this would happen, which is probably why you did it.