By Jay Richards for The Daily Signal
Under Senate rules, a reconciliation package must be limited to budgetary issues. But in 2021, a $3.5 trillion bill for taxes and spending that Democrats are trying to push through the reconciliation process will give radical gender activists the chance to incorporate the language and assumptions of their ideology into federal law.
For example, the text on “Maternal mortality” (Part 4 of Subtitle J of Title III) consists of 15 sections that allocate funds for a range of grants and programs for research and education in the field of women’s health.
And yet, in these sections discussing mothers who may be dealing with high-risk conditions associated with childbearing, we find gender-neutral terminology repeated 18 times in more than half of the 15 sections: “pregnant, nursing, and postpartum individuals.” .”
Although ‘individual’ or ‘person’ is common in legal documents when the sponsor can be a man or a woman, that does not explain what is happening here. The use of vague, non-gender terms is an attempt to reconcile legal language with an ideology that denies the innate binary of male and female.
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Subtitle J’s use of the generic “individuals” with “pregnant”, “breastfeeding” or “postpartum” is even different from the rest of the bill. For example, a separate section on Medicaid refers to “pregnant and postpartum women.” But in such cases, the bill refers to past legislation that already uses the word “women,” such as the Violence Against Women Act, passed in 1994.
Often these are direct quotes from laws already on the books, so gender editors should leave the “offensive” words in their place.
The trajectory is unmistakable: where possible, referrals to females are castrated. We have seen this Congress’s commitment to the radical gender ideology of the awake left since its opening days. In early January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., created a gender-neutral language standard for Congress.
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This approach persists even when the bill deals with topics unique to women. In 2021, choosing to refer to a woman as a “pregnant, nursing, and postpartum person” suggests that one doesn’t have to be a woman to be pregnant, breastfeeding, or have postpartum health complications.
That, of course, is exactly the point. For certain radical gender activists, being a woman is more a function of education and self-determination than nature and biology. That language reflects that belief.
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Sadly, this awakened language won’t just be kept in federal filing cabinets as an artifact of history. It will drive spending hundreds of millions of dollars. That direction can be painfully specific.
Part 4 of Subtitle J, for example, uses funds that can be used to train U.S. medical professionals. Section 31046 is earmarking $85 million in competitive grants for eligible, accredited medical schools and programs seeking to study the health effects of climate change on maternal mortality.
Beneficiaries must use those funds for curricula and continuing education. Those programs should focus on “identifying and addressing health risks and inequalities associated with climate change, counseling and mitigation strategies in addressing these risks and inequalities.”
But there is an option for those less concerned about the role of changing global temperature averages in breastfeeding. Medical schools can also use the money to “study implicit and explicit prejudice, racism and discrimination in the provision of care to pregnant, nursing and postpartum individuals and individuals with intent to become pregnant.”
In the abstract, funding for developing curricula on discrimination and prejudice against “pregnant, nursing and postpartum individuals” may, of course, sound nice. But let’s not be naive about its effect, which is the imposition of curricula committed to gender ideology through the power of the federal purse. It would do this under the guise of preventing “discrimination”.
Whether this funding could improve the well-being of pregnant women or mothers, the addition of such gender-neutral language indicates that there is much more to it than helping mothers. Rather, it is about injecting an ideology for erasing women from society from the federal level.
Activists have sought to advance this cause through the sweeping Equality Act, which would enshrine gender ideology in civil rights law. But they also take every opportunity to erase references to women — from civil society and the classroom to the executive.
Astute legislators and lawmakers must incrementally reject these attempts to advance radical gender ideology — and expose it before it moves further into the language of our laws.
Syndicated with permission from The Daily Signal.