By Will Hall, Baptist Message executive editor
WASHINGTON (LBM) – Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Baptist, challenged Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra about the choice of language in the Biden Administration’s $6 trillion budget request that refers to “mothers” as “birthing people.”
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing, June 10, Lankford conducted a blunt interview, pressing Becerra to explain the unusual phrasing. But Becerra dodged even repeating Lankford’s use of “mother.”
“I was a little taken aback when I just read it and saw that the term ‘mother’ was gone in spots, and it was replaced with ‘birthing people,’” Lankford said. “Is this a direction you are going—regulatory changes that are happening or what the purpose of that is?
Becerra told Lankford, “I think it’s probably—and again I’d have to go back and take a look at the language that was used in the budget—but I think again it simply reflects the work that’s being done.”
But Lankford pushed back, asking Becerra to “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.”
However, Becerra declined to answer the question, telling Lankford, instead, “Senator, I’ll go back and take a look a look at terminology that was used, and I could get back to you, but again … we’re trying to be precise in the language that’s used.”
The term was used earlier in May by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), during a House Oversight Commit-tee hearing in a discussion about maternal health. In that meeting she asked, “How does one of the most medically advanced nations in the world continue to fail black ‘birthing people’ at such high rates?”
These high visibility uses of “birthing people” appear to be a coordinated effort to avoid the physiological reality that only a biological female can give birth – which runs counter to transgender politics that de-mand treating as “men” those biological females who have not had their reproductive organs removed but call themselves “transgender men.”
It also steers clear of the obvious about biological males who call themselves “transgender women,” but lack the biological possibility of giving birth.
Rita Lowery Gitchell, special counsel with the Thomas More Society, a “not-for-profit, national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty” based in Chicago, Illinois, according to its website, argued these points in a May 25 column published on thomasmoresocie-ty.org.
She observed that “women, who have taken surgical or psychological steps to deny their chromosomal female identity and to take on a male or binary or non-binary identity,” can use the name change to avoid being referred to as “mother.”
She also addressed the reverse scenario, writing that despite the “name change” a “chromosomal male who takes surgical or psychological steps to identify as female … will not have the biological features of a birthing person.”
Moreover, Gitchell was adamant that any change from using the word “mother” could not alter a funda-mental reality.
“The biological differences of men and women allow for the creation of life,” she argued, noting that only “the person or being with the female chromosomes” can “bear life.”