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UK submission to UN - "whatabout the pregnant men?"

(107 Posts)
pisacake Sun 22-Oct-17 11:42:13

The text as proposed by the UN:

"Although States parties may adopt measures designed to regulate terminations of pregnancy, such measures must not result in violation of the right to life of a pregnant woman or her other rights under the Covenant, including the prohibition against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. . Thus, any legal restrictions on the ability of women to seek abortion must not, inter alia, jeopardize their lives or subject them to physical or mental pain or suffering which violates article 7. States parties must provide safe access to abortion to protect the life and health of pregnant women, and in situations in which carrying a pregnancy to term would cause the woman substantial pain or suffering,"

and continues in similar vein

The UK's submission:

" We note that in using the term “pregnant woman” the Committee may be inadvertently restricting the application of this paragraph to exclude transgender people who have given birth; this has happened in two recent cases in the UK."

This is rather confusing language. If they are not, in the context of that sentence, 'pregnant women', then surely the appropriate sentence, by elimination, is 'pregnant men' "exclude transgender men who have given birth; this has happened in two recent cases in the UK.""

RoseAndRose Sun 22-Oct-17 11:47:05

So pregnant people who do not identify as women should not have these protections?

I think that would be wrong.

pisacake Sun 22-Oct-17 11:49:23

you can identify as a teapot if you want; if you are pregnant you are a woman. surely this is primary school biology?

RoseAndRose Sun 22-Oct-17 11:53:24

The UN is concerned with every country. And no, the definitions are not the same globally.

So yes, inclusive language is needed because it has to work everywhere.

pisacake Sun 22-Oct-17 11:59:46

It's normal for legal documents to define important terms. It doesn't make sense for a country to be allowed up with its own definition of words in order to ignore treaty obligations. .

CancellyMcChequeface Sun 22-Oct-17 12:04:53

if you are pregnant you are a woman

This. Men cannot get pregnant. It's biologically impossible. Therefore, if someone is pregnant, the protections apply to them, regardless of how they choose to describe themselves.

RoseAndRose Sun 22-Oct-17 12:05:32

Which is why the treaty needs inclusive language, so that the lives of all those seeking TOPs are protected as envisaged.

RoseAndRose Sun 22-Oct-17 12:07:08

Sorry, that was in response to pisacake not the post immediately above.

Terfing Sun 22-Oct-17 12:08:38

As if the Uk isn't enough of a laughing stock at the moment! This is just embarrassing.

meditrina Sun 22-Oct-17 12:13:25

In the light if the UNFE, has UNHRO taken a view on this?

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 22-Oct-17 12:13:32

If it needs clarification, then surely it just needs a note about "pregnant women, regardless of how they personally identify" otherwise you'd have to specify all of the current genders that exist and run the risk of accidentally excluding someone who identifies as a gender that hasn't yet been identified and written down.

DJBaggySmallpox Sun 22-Oct-17 12:15:10

Sex is a biological definition. Men can't get pregnant, only biological women can.

pisacake Sun 22-Oct-17 12:20:06

Yes 'pregnant people' wouldn't work, as it doesn't include otherkin.

NoCryLilSoftSoft Sun 22-Oct-17 12:34:33

Pregnant individual?

QueenLaBeefah Sun 22-Oct-17 12:37:52

I wonder how many men globally have given birth? Probably no more than 100. Do we really need to cheapen the effects of childbirth on billions of women over thousands of years over this introspective horseshit? If you give birth you are a woman - let's not pretend otherwise.

nauticant Sun 22-Oct-17 12:38:59

Pregnant individual?

What if someone identifies as a collective. Maybe "pregnant entity, whether biological or otherwise".

Datun Sun 22-Oct-17 12:57:43

They need to define the word woman. That will suffice.

NoCryLilSoftSoft Sun 22-Oct-17 13:02:22

Good point nauticant

Pregnant female. That’s biological fact.

Datun Sun 22-Oct-17 13:03:47

So is pregnant woman though. Woman is an adult human female. I don’t know where this idea has come from that woman is a social category. It isn’t, it’s a biological one.

PricklyBall Sun 22-Oct-17 13:06:34

The reason language matters is summed up succinctly by a favourite quote of my late mother's: "If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."

Women's reproductive rights are impaired worldwide not because they are "pregnant persons", but because they are women, and women are treated, to a greater or lesser extent worldwide, as lesser beings. (Anyone in any doubt about this should read this leaked memo on the Trump administration's plans to attack provision of contraception and sex ed - it is not just abortion they oppose, but any attempt by women to take control of their fertility.)

This is why it needs the legislation to say this is a women's issue - because it is a women's issue. By all means have a footnote to say "this legislation encompasses transmen with functioning uteruses", but do not erase women from the story.

If it genuinely was a "person's" issue, there wouldn't be an issue. Pregnant "people" would be able to control their own fertility. (If you are in any doubt about this, think about the knots Christian theologians tie themselves in to justify the concept of a just war. It's not about the foetus's imaginary right to life at all, it's about keeping women in their place as subordinate to men, having to ask men for permission about everything, including whether they're going to be forced to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth against their will, often in countries where medical care means rates of maternal mortality are sky high - or conversely, and equally hideously, forced to abort female foetuses against their will - again, the female ones, not "the ones who might later on identify as women.")

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 22-Oct-17 13:06:40

So perhaps just a clarification that "woman/women" is being used as a biological category not as an identity.

Datun Sun 22-Oct-17 13:13:31


BigDeskBob Sun 22-Oct-17 13:22:02

So perhaps just a clarification that "woman/women" is being used as a biological category not as an identity.

It must be - I would assume girls are included too. Nobody seems bothered that they wouldn't feel included

Terfing Sun 22-Oct-17 13:46:40

Has the Guardian published this story yet? I like having a good laugh at their pro-trans articles! grin

Sunkisses Mon 23-Oct-17 06:05:46

There was an article in the Sunday Times about this yesterday:
Does anyone have the full text as it is behind the paywall?

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