A Democratic legislator in Wisconsin has drawn backlash on Twitter after referring to women as “birthing bodies” while defending abortion.
Rep. Francesca Hong, who serves the 76th Assembly District, was among many to comment on the recent leak of a Supreme Court draft expected to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, which would make abortion immediately illegal in at least 13 states.
“Birthing bodies have the right to freedom,” Hong wrote in a tweet. “Deciding if or when to become a parent is one of the most personal, life-changing decisions. Access to abortion and reproductive care is a decision we must trust each person to make based on what’s best for their health & their future.”
“It is a decision that should not be subject to the political whims of politicians — it is none of our business,” she continued.
Top replies showed that many commenters took offense to Hong’s views and “gender-neutral” choice of words. One pointed out that if she cannot use the term “woman,” then she is “not in any position to defend women’s rights.”
If you can’t use the word woman, you’re not in any position to defend women’s rights.
— Joan Smith (@polblonde) May 3, 2022
Other “pro-choice” supporters made similar comments, calling Hong’s choice of words “dehumanizing.”
I am pro choice but this “birthing bodies” shit makes me want to never vote for @TheDemocrats again. Just a little free advice.
— Sarah Beth Burwick (@sarahbeth345) May 3, 2022
Woman. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN. WOMAN.
— Jean Hatchet (@JeanHatchet) May 3, 2022
If you can’t use the term “women” then your opinion on the subject isn’t very valuable.
— Styxhexenhammer666 (@Styx666Official) May 3, 2022
Women aren’t ‘birthing bodies.’ We’re people, females, whether we give birth or not.
— Zelda (@ZeldaTheChicken) May 3, 2022
I’ve never seen such a self-own within one tweet.
— Zeek Arkham, Kingslayer (@ZeekArkham) May 3, 2022
1) it’s dehumanising to reduce women to bodily functions
2) if this affected all people (ie: affected men) abortion would be safe and legal everywhere. Your language obscures the fact that reproduction is controlled because it only affects women.
— inji duducu (@injiduducu) May 3, 2022
Birthing bodies? As a long-time Democrat and feminist, and a friend to transfolk, do not call me a “birthing body” like I am reduced to Handmaid-Tale level euphemism: it feels profoundly dehumanizing.
My name is June.
— Number 99 (@MmeBlackBalloon) May 3, 2022
#ProTip #1: The only bodies that can give birth are female bodies. They’re called women. #ProTip #2: The moment you become pregnant, you’re a parent.
— Jason Jones (@jonesville) May 3, 2022
“Birthing bodies” is dehumanizing and frankly so offensive to women no one believes you care about this. If you can’t name the problem you can’t solve it
— Inge Wood 💚🤍💜 KPSS (@IngeWood11) May 3, 2022
Hong so far has not released a statement in response to critics, but she reiterated her pro-abortion stance in a more recent tweet lauding a rally in Madison.
Every person deserves the right to reproductive healthcare, and that includes the right to choose. It is time to protect #RoeVWade. Thank you Madison for showing up tonight. pic.twitter.com/mYDVipgfLg
— Rep. Francesca Hong 홍윤정 (@StateRepHong) May 4, 2022
The SCOTUS leak, which was first published by Politico, continues to draw strong reactions across the country. While progressives such as Hong have expressed fears of the repercussions of an overturn, many conservatives have hailed the move.
“Justice Alito did a tour de force on the history of abortion law that just made it abundantly clear how absurd the idea is that abortion is a fundamental right, rooted in American history and Constitution, in any sense,” said Carrie Severino, president of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, according to CNN. “It’s so heartening to know that we finally have a majority of justices on the Supreme Court who recognize the legitimate way to interpret the Constitution.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted: “If this is the opinion of the Court, it will be one of the greatest opinions in Supreme Court history. It will save millions of lives.”
Featured Image via Voice of America