In a reversal, the British government’s maternity-leave bill will refer to those who bear children as “mothers” rather than “people.”
The initial wording in the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill, allowing government ministers to take leave rather than resign if they have a baby, caused uproar as members of Parliament complained that “extreme gender ideology” was being written into the law, said the Christian Institute.
The House of Lords objected to the use of the term “people” and has agreed that “mother” is legally acceptable.
Baroness Noakes said the original wording “does not respect the fact that only women can be pregnant.”
“It is a biological fact that only women can be pregnant and give birth. That is why laws that relate to maternity issues have in the past routinely been drafted using the words ‘woman,’ ‘she’ and ‘her,’” she said.
Others raising concerns included Baroness Hayter, who said “people” seemed “at odds with other legislation on maternity rights and protection”
Hayman said the attempt to be gender-neutral regarding maternity was an “ugly distortion of the English language” and affronted “common sense.”
Lord Lucas said: “Words matter, especially on the long road to equality.”
The progressive vernacular, he said, “erases the reality” that “maternity” is undertaken only by women.
DailyMail.com reported the issue arose because Suella Braverman, 40, the nation’s attorney general, is expecting her second child in weeks and would have been forced to resign.
Under the new plan, the prime minister can designate ministers to go on paid maternity leave.
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