February 10 2017
Jillian Kay Melchior
A hospital in Blackpool, England has forbidden midwives from saying “fellas” during birthing classes, saying the gender-specific term might offended single mothers or lesbian couples.
The news comes less than a month after the British Medical Association told doctors to avoid “mother” and instead use “pregnant people” in an effort to be more sensitive to transgender patients.
The controversy in Blackpool began when one midwife “kept referring to the ‘fella’s role’ during the labor process,” prompting complaints from a lesbian couple who “felt this terminology was inappropriate,” according to hospital documents obtained by the Blackpool Gazette.
The couple was so bothered by the midwife’s use of the word that they refused to go back to class. Instead, the hospital arranged “one-to-one parentcraft sessions” for the lesbian couple.
Going forward, the hospital instructed its midwives to avoid using “fellas” and other such gender-specific language in class. If needed, midwives should instead refer to “partners,” the hospital said.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.