The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an “urgent” health advisory, recommending that pregnant women receive the COVID-19 vaccine “as covid-linked deaths among pregnant people reach their highest levels yet during the pandemic,” per The Washington Post.
But the CDC did not issue the advisory to women, specifically, instead choosing to address pregnant “women” by the more “inclusive” term, “pregnant people.”
The alert, titled “COVID-19 Vaccination for Pregnant People to Prevent Serious Illness, Deaths, and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes from COVID-19,” was released Wednesday night, and CDC is careful to avoid the use of the term “woman” or “women” throughout the text of the memo, even though only biological females can get pregnant.
Per the CDC:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends urgent action to increase Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination among people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. CDC strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.
The recommendation builds on a similar release from August, which also encouraged “pregnant people” to get the shot.
“Although the overall risk of severe illness is low, pregnant people and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people,” the CDC explained in mid-August.
The decision to ignore apparent biological reality is endemic to the agency. As The Daily Wire reported, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky appears to be driving the effort to rebrand pregnancy as a non-gendered state.
“CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, ignoring the fact that only biological women can get pregnant, referred to ‘pregnant people’ on Wednesday, as she recommended women who are pregnant get the coronavirus vaccine, triggering outrage on social media,’” The Daily Wire reported. “Walensky tweeted, ‘The rise in cases, vaccine hesitancy, and the increased risk of severe illness for pregnant people make vaccination against #COVID19 more urgent than ever. Read why @CDCgov recommends that pregnant people should be vaccinated against COVID-19.’”
The agency’s announcement quickly met with mockery online — and criticism noting that the CDC, which often pleads with Americans to trust “science” was having difficulty coming to terms with basic biology.
“This article goes out of its way to avoid mentioning the word ‘women,” one commentator pointed out. “‘Pregnant Americans,’ ‘Pregnant individuals,’ ‘Pregnant people,’ ‘Those who are pregnant,’ ‘Pregnant patients.’ Why would pregnant women trust the CDC about vaccines when they can’t even say ‘pregnant women?’”
Another commentator pointed out that the study, cited by the CDC, references “pregnant women,” but not the agency’s directives, and also avoids the gendered term, “breastfeeding,” in favor of “lactating.”
“CDC advisory for ‘people who are pregnant’ and ‘recently pregnant (including those who are lactating),’” Omni Ceren noted. “It even cites a study titled ‘COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among Pregnant Women During Pregnancy.’ But nope. Pregnant people.”
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