Coronavirus Australia: Health chiefs replace ‘women’ ‘pregnant people’ in Covid-19 vaccine guide

Anger as health bosses erase word ‘women’ from official Covid vaccine guide – use ‘inclusive’ phrase ‘pregnant people’ instead

  • The Ministry of Health’s Official Pregnancy Guide Cleared All Mentions of Women
  • Eight-page booklet now refers to ‘pregnant people’ and ‘those who are pregnant’
  • More than 50 mentions of ‘women’ have been deleted and ‘mother’ only used twice
  • The changes have been branded ‘craziness’ and ‘foolishness’ that ‘cancels women’

Federal health chiefs have rewritten a Covid-19 vaccination pregnancy guide that bizarrely erases all mentions of “women” and replaces them with “pregnant people.”

The guide was originally published in February as ‘COVID-19 Vaccination – Shared Decision-Making Guide for Women Who Are Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Planning to Get Pregnant’.

But it was republished last week under the new, subtly modified title, “COVID-19 Vaccination Decision Guide for People Who Are Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Planning Pregnancy.”

Some campaign groups say using “women” excludes non-binary or transgender people, who may not identify as female but could still be pregnant or mothers.

The word 'women' has been replaced by 'pregnant people' in the new version of the official health guide, pictured here

The word 'women' has been replaced by 'pregnant people' in the new version of the official health guide, pictured here

Federal health chiefs have rewritten a Covid-19 vaccination pregnancy guide that bizarrely erases all mentions of “women” and replaces them with “pregnant people.” February’s original title can be seen on the left with the new wake up title on the right

The document makes no mention of women or women except in links to other websites or in the title of footnote references to other publications.

The word “mother” is only used twice in the entire eight-page booklet.

In all, more than 50 different entries of women have been removed from the original version and replaced with “people” or “those who are pregnant,” sparking anger among some women.

The changes include non-specific phrases such as ‘Pregnant people are a priority group for Covid-19 vaccination’ and ‘Pregnant women are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19’.

Sky News commentator Rita Panahi (pictured center) called the rewrite crazy and said it shouldn't be normalized

Sky News commentator Rita Panahi (pictured center) called the rewrite crazy and said it shouldn't be normalized

Sky News commentator Rita Panahi (pictured center) called the rewrite crazy and said it shouldn’t be normalized

In total, more than 50 different entries of women have been removed from the original version and replaced by “people” or “those who are pregnant.” (Pictured, a stock photo of a pregnant woman being vaccinated against Covid-19)

Sky News commentator Rita Panahi called the rewrite nonsense, adding: “We cannot allow this craziness to normalize.

“Women get pregnant – that shouldn’t be a controversial statement.”

She accused the federal health service of “buying into radical gender theory” with the rewrite.

“It seeps in everywhere,” she added. ‘It started in academia, but now it’s the Ministry of Health.’

Commercial litigation attorney Caroline di Russo added: “If you asked the common man on the street, they would be pretty sure that only women can get pregnant.

“This here is frankly foolishness, except there’s an undercurrent to it. It’s dressed up as inclusiveness and caring and whatever.

“But really it just has the effect of canceling women.”

Commercial litigation attorney Caroline di Russo (pictured) said the removal of the word women in a pregnancy guide had the effect of 'cancelling women'

Commercial litigation attorney Caroline di Russo (pictured) said the removal of the word women in a pregnancy guide had the effect of 'cancelling women'

Commercial litigation attorney Caroline di Russo (pictured) said the removal of the word women in a pregnancy guide had the effect of ‘cancelling women’

The guide recommends Comirnaty – another name for the Pfizer vaccine – for all pregnant expectant mothers at all stages of their pregnancy.

It also stresses that anyone trying to conceive should not delay vaccination and should not avoid getting pregnant if they have been vaccinated.

The health department says the global rollout of the Pfizer vaccine has shown it to be safe for breastfeeding mothers, too.

And it recommends the AstraZeneca vaccine for pregnant women, nursing mothers and anyone trying to have a baby if Pfizer isn’t available and there’s a higher risk of contracting Covid.

The guide recommends Comirnaty - another name for the Pfizer vaccine - for all pregnant mothers at all stages of their pregnancy (pictured, stock photo of a pregnant woman)

The guide recommends Comirnaty - another name for the Pfizer vaccine - for all pregnant mothers at all stages of their pregnancy (pictured, stock photo of a pregnant woman)

The guide recommends Comirnaty – another name for the Pfizer vaccine – for all pregnant mothers at all stages of their pregnancy (pictured, stock photo of a pregnant woman)

The guide warns that unvaccinated pregnant mothers have a higher risk of serious illness if they get the disease and that their babies are born prematurely.

There is also some evidence that vaccination benefits may be passed on indirectly to children through breastfeeding or through the placenta, according to the guide.

The Ministry of Health said the guide had been updated in line with ATAGI’s new advice.

“The decision guide has been updated and approved by the department,” a spokesperson added.

The guide can be downloaded here.

The guide also stresses that anyone trying to conceive should not delay vaccination and should not avoid getting pregnant if they have been vaccinated.  (Pictured, women queuing for vaccine at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney)

The guide also stresses that anyone trying to conceive should not delay vaccination and should not avoid getting pregnant if they have been vaccinated.  (Pictured, women queuing for vaccine at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney)

The guide also stresses that anyone trying to conceive should not delay vaccination and should not avoid getting pregnant if they have been vaccinated. (Pictured, women queuing for vaccine at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney)

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