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NYC Health Official Blasted for Calling White Women ‘Birthing People’

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A health official in New York City experienced much criticism due to her controversial social media posts about women and motherhood.

Dr. Michelle Morse, who is the chief medical officer for the city’s Department of Health (DOH), was highlighting the area’s “birth equity” initiative, Fox News reported Saturday.

“The urgency of this moment is clear,” she wrote March 23. “Mortality rates of birthing people are too high, and babies born to Black and Puerto Rican mothers in this city are three times more likely to die in their first year of life than babies born to non-Hispanic White birthing people.”

She continued in another post, “Expanding access to doulas and the quality care they provide can save lives and will make a difference for hundreds of NYC families.”

Multiple social media users took the opportunity to share their disagreement.

“Stop changing our words, we are all mothers…no matter what color our skin is. We are not breeders, birthing people, or anything else. We are moms. All of us,” one person replied.

“None of these terms were taught to you in medical school. You know why? Because they’re contrived and bear no relationship with biology,” another wrote.

In a February 2021 press release, the NYC Health website said Morse joined the department and was the agency’s first Chief Medical Officer:

Dr. Morse is an internal medicine hospitalist, Co-Founder of EqualHealth, and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. EqualHealth is a non-profit organization that builds critical consciousness and collective action globally, in the pursuit of health equity for all.

In 2018, Dr. Morse was awarded as a Soros Equality Fellowship working with colleagues to launch EqualHealth’s global Campaign Against Racism. In September 2019 she began a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy fellowship in Washington, DC and worked with the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Majority Staff, on health equity priorities.

In June, President Joe Biden’s administration’s 2022 fiscal year budget request introduced the term “birthing people” to effectively replace “mothers,” Breitbart News reported at the time.

“Usage of the phrase ‘birthing people’ instead of the traditional ‘mothers’ drew a wave of criticism,” the outlet said.

According to the recent Fox report, a DOH spokesperson called Morse’s post an “oversight” then added, “we apologize for inadvertently gendering Black and Puerto Rican birthing people.”


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