In a move that has created head-shaking across the United Kingdom, the government has insisted that the United Nations replace the term “pregnant women” in an official document with “pregnant people” to avoid offense.
The dispute arose because the nation’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office wanted to avoid excluding “transgender people who have given birth,” meaning women who “identify” as men.
The U.K. policy office was reviewing the U.N.’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was signed by the U.K. in 1976, some 10 years after it was created.
One line in that document states the death penalty “shall not be carried out on pregnant women.”
The U.K.’s Christian Institute cited the outrage from feminist writer Sarah Ditum, who charged: “This isn’t inclusion. This is making women unmentionable. Having a female body and knowing what that means for reproduction doesn’t make you ‘exclusionary.’”
She warned, “Forcing us to decorously scrub out any reference to our sex on pain of being called bigots is an insult.”
FCO officials quickly issued a statement that the U.K. does not object to the use of the term “pregnant woman.”
“We strongly support the right to life of pregnant women, and we have requested that the Human Rights Committee does not exclude pregnant transgender people from that right to life,” the statement said.