CDC Director Uses Gender Neutral Language to Discuss ‘Pregnant Persons’

Kerstin Linnartz poses during a portrait session announcing her pregnancy on November 28, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Clemens Bilan/Getty Images)
Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky used gender-neutral terms to talk about clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine during a press conference Friday.

Instead of referring to “pregnant women,” Walensky utilized the terms “pregnant persons” and “pregnant people” while discussing a medical study on receiving the vaccine during pregnancy.

“Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines did not include pregnant people, leaving us with limited data on the safety of vaccination in pregnant people and babies to date,” she said.

Since President Joe Biden took office, the administration and other branches of government have employed gender-neutral language to avoid angering or alienating transgender people. In January, the White House added gender-neutral pronouns to their website, allowing individuals to select “Mx” or “they/them.”

Walensky said the CDC monitored over 35,000 “pregnant people” after they were vaccinated to look for side effects of the coronavirus vaccine.

“People experienced the same side effects as others following vaccination,” she said.

She urged pregnant women to get vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“CDC recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said. “We know that this is a deeply personal decision, and I encourage people to talk to their doctors or primary care providers to determine what is best for them and for their baby.”


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