Women Are ‘Pregnant People’ To Some Massachusetts Politicians

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/12/08/women-with-child-are-pregnant-people-to-some-massachusetts-politicians/

What do you call women with unborn babies inside of them?

Pregnant women? Mothers? 

Some liberal Massachusetts politicians are ditching those terms and opting for something else. Instead, they’re going with “pregnant people.”

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge) is one of those politicians. 

She used the term when condemning Texas for enacting a heartbeat abortion bill in September 2021, limiting most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

“The Texas abortion ban has put undue harm on the health and economic security of pregnant people across the state — forcing them to travel hundreds of miles out of state to access reproductive care,” Warren tweeted on October 22, 2021. “It’s shameful SCOTUS has refused to grant them relief.”

U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Hyde Park) is another. 

For example, Pressley used the term when speaking about racial disparities in maternal health at a virtual briefing held by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held on November 13, 2020.

“A safe pregnancy should be a right not a privilege,” Pressley said during the briefing. “Every person should be able to experience their pregnancy without worrying if they will survive delivery, or make it to their child’s first birthday.”

“Unfortunately, at alarmingly disproportionate rates, that is not the reality for pregnant people of color, especially those who are black,” Pressley added. “Black women in particular face significantly more pregnancy-related health risks than any other ethnic group. As black women, we are four times more likely to experience life-threatening complications or death during labor, delivery, and the postpartum period.”

Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) also uses the term. 

Spilka used it when speaking about an abortion-expansion bill (H.5090) that Governor Charlie Baker signed into law in July.

“Pregnant people, trans people, & all people must be allowed to make their own health care decisions in consultation with a physician without fear,” Spilka tweeted on July 29, 2022. “Our fight to protect their dignity cannot end today, so the @MA_Senate will continue to explore ways to uphold fundamental rights.”

The bill ended co-payments and other charges for abortion in health insurance plans. It also expanded late-term abortions after 24 weeks to include cases that are “warranted because of a grave fetal diagnosis that indicates that the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside of the uterus without extraordinary medical interventions.”

Like Spilka, state Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) also used the term “pregnant people” regarding this same abortion bill.

While Rausch was happy that the bill passed, she complained about other existing regulations on abortion in Massachusetts, such as parental consent for minors 15 years old and under and a 24-week gestational limit on abortions except for certain exceptions. 

“We’ve got pregnant people still unable to choose for themselves whether or not to terminate a pregnancy,” Rausch tweeted on July 28, 2022. “We’ve got a TRAP law. We’ve got legal boxes into which pregnant people must fit to access #abortion. Perhaps Heartbreak Hill, but surely no finish line.”

“TRAP” stands for “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.”

A former president of the Massachusetts Senate, state Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), 84, who is still in office for a little less than a month, is another politician who uses the term “pregnant people.”

Chandler used the phrase when cheering the passage of the ROE Act in December 2020.

“Pregnant people who once faced near-insurmountable barriers accessing abortion care can now seize the right to control their own bodies,” Chandler tweeted on December 29, 2020. “I am so proud of the policies included in the #ROEAct and of the @MA_Senate for our commitment to reproductive freedom.”

The ROE Act eliminated parental consent for 16- and 17-year-old minors in Massachusetts seeking an abortion, allowed for abortions past 24 weeks of pregnancy in cases of fatal fetal anomalies, and removed language from previously-existing law that guaranteed medical attention for babies born alive during an attempted abortion. 

Press spokesmen for Warren, Pressley, Spilka, Chandler, and Rausch could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday this week. 


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