Watch: GOP Sen Presses Becerra Why 'Mother' Replaced with Term 'Birthing Person' in Biden Budget


GOP Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma questioned Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday concerning why the Biden administration’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget replaces the term “mother” with “birthing people.”

The exchange, specifically referencing where the budget addresses maternal health, took place while Becerra appeared before the Senate Finance Committee, according to a news release from Lankford’s office.

“I also noticed you changed a term in your budget work. You shifted in places from using the term ‘mother’ to ‘birthing people,’ rather than mother. Can you help me get a good definition of ‘birthing people'”? the senator asked.

Becerra appeared to struggle with how to respond.

“Well, I’ll check on the language there, but I think if we’re talking about those who give birth, I think we’re talking about … I don’t know how else to explain it to you other than …,” the HHS secretary said.

White House Interns Send Demand Letter to Biden: 'We Will No Longer Remain Silent'

Lankford jumped in to further clarify.

“I was a little taken aback when I just read it and saw it, that the term mother was gone in spots and it was replaced with ‘birthing people.’ And I didn’t know if this a direction that you were going, if there were shifts, if there are regulatory changes that are happening related to that or what the purpose of that is,” the senator said.

Becerra did not elaborate much further, promising to take a closer look at the wording.

“I think it’s probably — and again I’d have to go back and take a look at the language that was used in the budget — but I think it, it simply reflects the work that’s being done,” he said.

Lankford drilled into the topic a little further, saying if the point was not to offend anyone, the terminology likely failed on that count.

“The language is important always. We don’t want to offend in our language,” he said. “But would you at least admit calling a mom a ‘birthing person’ could be offensive to some moms, that they don’t want to get like a ‘Happy birthing person’ card in May?”

“Can you at least admit that term itself could be offensive to some moms?” he further queried.

Video: Police Kick Down Door to Catch Mother in the Middle of Horrific Act, Save Child Just in Time

Becerra did not concede the point.

“Senator, I’ll go back and take a look a look at the terminology that was used and I could get back to you, but again if we’re trying to be precise in the language that’s used,” he said.

Lankford replied, “Mom’s a pretty good word. That’s worked for a while and I think it’s pretty precise, as well.”

Becerra made headlines during his confirmation hearing in February when he used the term “future baby” while justifying his 2003 vote against a ban on partial-birth abortions.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith