‘Birthing People’: Oklahoma Senator Confronts HHS Secretary on Woke Language

Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.) goes to a hearing with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Person Providers, Education, and Associated Agencies, on Capitol Hill, September 16, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/Reuters)

Oklahoma senator James Lankford (R.) challenged Health and Human being Solutions (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra Thursday over the department’s replacement of “mothers” with the term “birthing people.”

Lankford challenged Becerra to safeguard the expression throughout a Senate Financing Committee hearing on the President’s 2022 Budget plan, according to a news release from Lankford’s workplace. The senator questioned him about the “language in the President’s proposed budget regarding maternal health that referred to ‘birthing people’ instead of mothers even though the science is clear that women give birth.”

“I also noticed you changed a term in your budget work. You shifted from using the term ‘mother’ to ‘birthing people’ rather than mother. Can you help me get a good definition of ‘birthing people?’” Lankford asked.

The HHS secretary stopped briefly and stopped working to provide a succinct reaction, declaring he needed to “check on the language.”

“But I think if we’re talking about those who give birth, I think we’re talking about . . . I don’t know how else to explain it to you other than [that],” he continued.

Lankford answered back that “the language is important always.” “Would you at least admit that calling a mom a ‘birthing person’ could be offensive . . . that they don’t want to get a ‘Happy birthing person card’ in May? Can you at least admit that term itself could be offensive to some moms?” he included.

Becerra stated he would require to describe the “terminology that was used.” His remarks followed Deputy Director of the Workplace of Management and Spending Plan (OMB) Shalanda Young doubled-down on the Biden budget plan proposition’s usage of “birthing people,” insisting it’s more inclusive and fair, at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

“There are certain people who do not have gender identities that apply to female and male, so we think our language needs to be more inclusive on how we deal with complex issues,” she said.

“Our official policy is to make sure that when people get service from their government that they feel included, and we’re trying to use inclusive language,” Young concluded.

Send out a suggestion to the news group at NR.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.