Congresswoman Cori Bush refers to women as ‘birthing people’
Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF
Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush referred to women Thursday as “birthing people.”
The congresswoman refrained from using the word “women” during a Democratic oversight committee hearing Thursday where she criticized treatment of black pregnant women, drawing on two personal stories about her own children and pregnancies.
“Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain,” she tweeted with a video of her remarks. “My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic. I testified about my experience @OversightDems today. Hear us. Believe us. Because for so long, nobody has.”
Every day, Black birthing people and our babies die because our doctors don’t believe our pain. My children almost became a statistic. I almost became a statistic.
I testified about my experience @OversightDems today.
Hear us. Believe us. Because for so long, nobody has. pic.twitter.com/rExrMXzsSQ
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) May 6, 2021
Bush, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, proceeded to share how her doctor and hospital staff did not pay attention to her when she expressed concerns about severe pains when she was pregnant with her son Zion. Because her doctor did not take her seriously, Bush said, her son was born at only 23 weeks, weighed one pound, and had translucent skin.
A doctor revived Zion and the boy survived, the congresswoman said, noting that he is now 21 years old.
Her doctor apologized to her after her son’s birth, Bush said, but when she became pregnant again a few months later, a different doctor informed her that she was in preterm labor, at 16 weeks, and that her baby was going to self abort.
“I said no, you have to do something,” Bush said. She said that the doctor was adamant and told her, “Just go home, let it abort. You can get pregnant again because that’s what you people do.”
Bush’s sister helped her attract the attention of other hospital staff by throwing a chair down the hallway, Bush said, and her original doctor was notified. They helped her carry her baby daughter Angel to term, who is now 20 years old, Bush said.
Bush’s omission of the word “woman” reflects Democratic efforts to “honor all gender identities.” Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. James McGovern announced a resolution in January to modify pronouns in the House rules for references to family relations, such as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister.
Later that month, United Methodist pastor Democratic Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said during the prayer to open the 117th Congress, “We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, [unintelligible], and God known by many names and by many different faiths, amen, and awoman.”