The Harvard University Medical School Department has stated that not all who give birth are women.
In a recent tweet, Harvard University, located in Boston Massachusetts, referred to women as “birthing people,” in order to be more inclusive of those who self identify as transgender or non-binary.
Harvard Medical School had on November 8, during their Postgraduate and Continuing Education program said that, “Globally, ethnic minority pregnant and birthing people suffer worse outcomes and experiences during and after pregnancy and childbirth” as it promoted a panel discussion about “Maternal Justice.”
The tweet continued, “These inequities have been further highlighted by #COVID19” and also featured a link to Harvard School’s “Health Disparities Resources for Providers.”
Their comments, however, came under heavy criticism by social media users, with some slamming them for reducing women to bits and parts. While another was bewildered that a school of Harvard’s standing would make such comments.
“The term you are searching for is woman. And the other term you are searching for is Black woman,” one commenter wrote. “After hundreds of years of chattel slavery, give the Black woman the dignity of being centered in her womanhood.”
“Harvard. Supposed to be smart people. The best education and training possible. The word is women. Adult human females. An actual medical term. Does Harvard not teach anatomy?” another asked.
In their defence, the school responded the following day with an apology saying, “The webinar panelists used the term ‘birthing person’ to include those who identify as non-binary or transgender because not all who give birth identify as ‘women’ or ‘girls.’ We understand the reactions to this terminology and in no way meant for it to erase or dehumanize women.”