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Don’t call pregnant patients ‘mothers’: Dr’s banned from using the word over fears it will upset those who are transgender


  • Official guidelines issued by the British Medical Association says mothers-to-be-should be referred to as ‘pregnant people’
  • The move aims to avoid offending and alienating transgender parents
  • The advice came in a 14-page booklet titled A Guide To Effective Communication: Inclusive Language In The Workplace

NHS doctors have been told not to call pregnant women ‘expectant mothers’ because it might offend transgender people, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The astonishing warning comes in official guidelines issued by the British Medical Association to its 160,000 members, which says mothers-to-be should be referred to as ‘pregnant people’ instead.

The controversial advice to doctors in hospitals and general practice comes just weeks after it emerged that a Briton who was born a girl but is changing to a man put his operation on hold to have a baby.

Four-months pregnant Hayden Cross, 20, is legally male and has had hormone treatment but not sex-change surgery.

There are no other known cases of a transitioning person becoming pregnant in the UK, but official figures show 775,000 women give birth in Britain every year.

Despite this, the BMA insists doctors should drop the word ‘mother’ when referring to pregnancy to avoid offending transgender people and to ‘celebrate diversity’.

The contentious call is made in a 14-page booklet called A Guide To Effective Communication: Inclusive Language In The Workplace.

It says: ‘A large majority of people that have been pregnant or have given birth identify as women. However, there are some intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant.

‘We can include intersex men and trans men who may get pregnant by saying “pregnant people” instead of “expectant mothers”.’

In an introduction to the guide on the BMA’s website, senior executive Dr Anthea Mowat wrote: ‘I would encourage you all to read and share this guide, and think about how you can apply it in your day-to-day work. This is a time where we need to come together to support and protect our colleagues and our patients.’

Bizarre ban by British Medical Association

The wording of the BMA's 'guide to effective communication' is almost a parody of politically correct language as it days dryly: 'A large majority of people that have been pregnant or given birth identify as women'

The wording of the BMA’s ‘guide to effective communication’ is almost a parody of politically correct language as it days dryly: ‘A large majority of people that have been pregnant or given birth identify as women’

But last night women’s campaigner Laura Perrins criticised the BMA’s advice as ‘anti-science, anti-women and anti-mother’.

She said: ‘As every doctor knows only females can have children. To say otherwise is offensive and dangerous. This will offend women up and down the country, and is an example of the majority of women being insulted for a tiny minority of people.’

Conservative MP Philip Davies described the guidance as ‘completely ridiculous’, adding: ‘If you can’t call a pregnant woman an expectant mother, then what is the world coming to?’

The guide also tells doctors that they should not use the terms ‘born man’ or ‘born woman’ in relation to trans people, as these phrases ‘are reductive and over-simplify a complex subject’.

The British Medical Association has updated its official guidelines to say mothers-to-be-should be referred to as 'pregnant people' to avoid alienating transgender people

Neither should they say ‘biologically male’ or ‘biologically female’, for the same reasons. Instead, they should say the individual was ‘assigned’ or ‘designated’ male or female at birth.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said: ‘I think it is sad that society is being pushed in this direction. God has made us man and woman, and mothers relate to their children in different ways than fathers. This ruling will confuse people about the vital role of mothers in bringing up their children.’

Charity launches urgent inquiry over girl guides row

The NSPCC has launched an urgent investigation after a row over the Girl Guides allowing males who ‘identify’ as women to join as volunteers.

Mum Amanda Gracey, from Bristol, had told staff member James Copeland she was worried her six-year-old daughter could be chaperoned by men on overnight trips.

Mr Copeland later tweeted: ‘When you have to be respectful and professional when speaking to a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) cuz its your job.’ Mrs Gracey claimed his ‘unprofessionalism’ was ‘alarming’. NSPCC chief Peter Wanless said the matter would be ‘investigated urgently’.

And the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, the Right Reverend Philip Egan, warned it would cause ‘great confusion and harm’.

He said: ‘It is Orwellian, isn’t it? Another example of people trying to control our thoughts and the way we speak.’

However, Heather Ashton, of the transgender support group TG Pals, said: ‘We know that biological females are the pregnant ones but trans people are parents too, and this is massive step forward to prevent discrimination against them. The fact that the terminology is changing can only be a positive thing for everyone who wants to be a parent and has the right to be a parent.’


Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday has also discovered that the Department of Health has issued formal orders that trans women – those who were born male but identify as women – should be routinely accommodated on female single-sex wards. Similarly, trans men should be placed on male wards.

In a missive to hospitals they say: ‘Trans people should be accommodated according to their presentation: the way they dress, and the name and pronouns they currently use. This may not always accord with the physical sex appearance of the chest or genitalia.’

There are now 53 charities and pressure groups dedicated to promoting the rights of transgender people – many receiving public funds.

And hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money is being spent on research looking at how everyday terms such as ‘boys and girls’ might ‘exclude’ transgender individuals.

Confused? 6 gender types… backed by over 50 groups

There are now six main categories of gender, in terms used by a growing number of organisations in the UK supporting transgender, or trans people. At least 53 bodies use the following terms:

1 TRANSGENDER MALE Someone ‘assigned female’ at birth who ‘identifies’ as male.

2 TRANSGENDER female Someone ‘assigned male’ at birth who ‘identifies’ as female

3 INTERSEX A person whose gender at birth could not be classed as clearly male or female, often having a combination of genitalia.

4 GENDER QUEER/ GENDER NON-BINARY An umbrella term that covers any gender identity that doesn’t conform to being male or female.

5 CISGENDER Someone whose gender is the same as the sex they were born.

6 TRANSVESTITE A person who dresses in the clothing of the opposite gender, but does not want to live their lives as the opposite gender.

The BMA’s booklet on inclusive language does not only cover transgender rights. It also argues against male-centric language – so advises members to use the phrase ‘family name’ instead of ‘surname… which may originate from sire-name, the name derived from one’s father.’

But many linguists think ‘surname’ actually derives from the Anglo-French ‘sornom’ or ‘surnoun’, meaning ‘over-name’. The guide also advises that ‘gender neutral language’ should be used ‘until you know what terms they prefer’.

The BMA insisted: ‘This is a guide for BMA staff and representatives aimed at promoting an inclusive workplace at the BMA.

‘It is not workplace guidance for doctors, which is clear from the fact it does not refer to patients.’

Signs of the times: the relentless march of transgender political correctness

Pedestrian crossings in London's Trafalgar Square now show the symbol for transgender people

A sign on a toilet cubicle in King's College Cambridge

The sign on a toilet in Chichester University is a gender inclusive sign. These signs aim to make life easier for transgender people, but do they confuse everybody else?

The British Medical Association’s recommendation for doctors to avoid the phrase ‘expectant mothers’ is just the latest assault on womanhood by the transgender lobby.

The BMA is one of the many institutions now fearful of acknowledging the realities of the biological differences between the sexes, at the risk of offending transgender people.

Trans-activists are enjoying huge success in their campaign to re-invent our language so that every aspect our lives becomes ‘gender neutral’ – from pregnancy down to lavatory habits. As this newspaper reported last weekend, Girlguiding now describes itself as a ‘single gender’ body. In America, the term ‘chestfeeding’ is gaining cachet as an alternative to breastfeeding for women who have babies before transitioning.

Midwives in the US are also being directed to use terms such as ‘front-hole’ instead of vagina, and ‘window-birth’ rather than caesarean section, in case trans-people are offended. And it is only a matter of time before these linguistic trends find their way across the Atlantic.

At the same time, significant amounts of money are being spent by our institutions to avoid being accused of transphobia, while services supporting women and children escaping domestic violence are cut to the bone.

The National Union of Students, for example, is employing a full-time transgender officer on a salary that is likely to be in excess of £20,000. It is no wonder that so many women are angry and upset about the erasure of their identities to the point where they are being told it is transphobic to even use the correct language to describe our reproductive systems.

Gender on the agenda everywhere

Here are just some of the stories on the issue the Mail on Sunday exclusively revealed:

Jan 22: We reveal change to Girl Guide rules 

Jan 22: We reveal change to Girl Guide rules

Dec 11: New advice for teachers and pupils 

Dec 11: New advice for teachers and pupils

Oct 30: BBC makes kids' show about boy who changes gender

Oct 30: BBC makes kids’ show about boy who changes gender

June 2015: Scots schools axe separate boys' and girls' toilets

June 2015: Scots schools axe separate boys’ and girls’ toilets

May 2014: Controversial move preps children for gender surgery

May 2014: Controversial move preps children for gender surgery


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