This includes omitting gender-specific terms such as "she," "her," "women," and "mother," and replacing them with gender-neutral terms like "pregnant person" and "pregnant people." The changes can be seen in recommended health guidance for respiratory virus vaccinations for pregnant women, the Daily Mail reports.
In particular, vaccine promotional materials for flu, Covid-19, and RSV, which are diseases that can be deadly to pregnant women, were updated to reflect the new terminology.
The CDC's decision has since caused backlash, according to the outlet, with a health organization referring to the changes as "dangerous."
Stella O'Malley, a psychotherapist and director of Genspect, slammed the updated guidance as "dangerous." She told Daily Mail that pregnant women are among the most vulnerable and those who speak English as a second language might have trouble understanding the terminology.
"There was no need to replace the word 'woman' with the words 'pregnant person.' In medical matters, clarity and simplicity should be prioritized so that everyone can understand what is involved," O'Malley said.
"Some people, especially those for whom English is not a first language, will not understand what is meant by 'pregnant people' yet they would readily understand 'mothers,'" she continued. "It's an appalling example of how politics is increasingly interfering with medicine."
The CDC updated its guidance in September, according to the outlet, which reads: "CDC recommends pregnant people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, although flu vaccination should continue as long as flu is circulating."
"Getting a flu vaccine by the end of October helps protect pregnant people and their babies before flu activity begins to increase. Pregnant people may receive a flu vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy."
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) said the CDC was "cowering to political forces."
"The CDC is supposed to be an apolitical bastion of science, but here they are cowering to political forces, a small minority but highly influential entities, who are trying to change language, Orwellian style, to force acceptance of an absurdity," said Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of AAPS.
"All pregnant persons are women. A trans man is a woman who is trying to alter her body to resemble a man's. She is endangering her baby's health if she is taking testosterone. The CDC ought to be warning about that," Dr. Orient said.
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