The CDC today was outraged by its decision to remove the word “women” from its monkey pox guidelines in favor of the term “pregnant people.”
Former Trump Administration operative Roger Severino said the move was another “dangerous” sign of an awakened gender ideology creeping into crucial health advice.
The CDC was criticized last year for erasing “women” from its advice on Covid vaccines in favor of the gender-neutral term.
The new monkey pox pregnancy guidelines were issued in July, when more than 100 cases of the virus were discovered weekly in the US.
It warns that infection can seriously impede fetal development and lead to spontaneous miscarriage or stillbirth.
The agency urges pregnant and breastfeeding “people” who contract the virus to prioritize treatment.
In response to the monkeypox guidelines, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) said it was an attempt to wipe out “half the human race.”
Critics argue that desexing important health advice will confuse messages meant to keep women safe — especially those who are vulnerable or whose first language isn’t English.
Mr Severino, vice president of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told DailyMail.com: “It’s going to be the standard for this government.
“They’re trying to replace the scientific reality about sex with a gender ideology, which is ultimately dangerous.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have replaced the mention of “women” with “people” in pregnancy counseling to protect against monkey pox.
WILL THE CDC WAKE UP?
The agency has come under fire several times in recent months for using gender-neutral language about the terms “women,” “women” or “women.”
Aug 11, 2021: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky encourages all “pregnant or people thinking about becoming pregnant and those who are breastfeeding” to get the Covid vaccine.
July 1, 2022: Agency warns that ‘people who are pregnant or have recently become pregnant’ are at greater risk than non-pregnant people of serious Covid infection.
Autumn 2022: The agency’s guidelines for the annual flu shot encourage “pregnant people (and people up to two weeks after giving birth)” to get vaccinated.
“Pregnant People” is designed to be more inclusive for transgender and non-binary people who can also get pregnant.
A woman transitioning to a man will keep her uterus unless it is surgically removed, meaning trans men have the ability to conceive.
But conservatives say the attempt at inclusion itself excludes another group that has long faced discrimination: women.
dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the right-wing AAPS, told DailyMail.com that by using gender-neutral language, the CDC is “saying half the human race doesn’t exist or is the same as the other half.”
She added, “So much for evidence-based medicine.”
The CDC guideline says that symptoms in “people who are pregnant” are similar to “non-pregnant people.”
But ‘people’ who are pregnant and breastfeeding should be given priority on antiviral treatments because of the potential risk to their unborn child.
It’s not clear whether the monkeypox vaccine JYNNEOS causes fetal harm, so medics must weigh the risks against the benefits, the CDC says.
However, the agency stresses that clinical studies of the vaccine in animals “have shown no evidence of harm to a developing fetus.”
Early symptoms of monkeypox infection usually include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion.
Within a few days of detecting early symptoms, patients will develop rashes and lesions that spread from the face throughout the body.
Ex-Trump officials criticize CDC for removing the word “women” in the context of pregnancy in monkeypox safety guidelines.
Mr. Severino — the former director of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights under former President Donald Trump — said the CDC’s constant use of gender-neutral terms was an “attempt to deny [biological female] women who become pregnant’.
He added: ‘And that has consequences for health, but also for policy further down the road.’
The vast majority (99 percent) of monkey pox cases were in men, and 94 percent of these patients had recently had sex or close intimate contact with another man.
But experts worry the outbreak could become more widespread among other parts of the population.
As of May, there have been more than 150 confirmed cases in children and dozens of infections in women, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Monkeypox is transmitted when someone makes close contact with the lesions of another person who is infected, their clothing or bedding.
The CDC estimates the current number of global cases at about 65,000. The US leads the world in confirmed cases with about 25,000 as of September 14.
Official guidance on monkeypox safety is just the latest healthcare problem caught in the crosshairs of the culture war.
The abortion rights movement has adopted more gender-neutral language to describe those affected by the June Supreme Court decision to abolish the constitutional right to abortion.
Abortion rights organization NARAL, for example, advised activists in 2020 to consider abortion a women’s issue.
But two years later, the group is advising activists to use non-gender terminology “to be more inclusive for trans men, non-binary and gender non-conforming people.”