All Genders Have Abortions
Every year on March 31, we celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility to bring attention to the accomplishments of transgender people around the globe and raise awareness about the discrimination trans people face, including in accessing health care. At Mabel Wadsworth Center, we are proud to provide medically accurate, client-centered, compassionate healthcare and education to folks with diverse expressions of gender and sexuality. Transgender people have abortions, continue pregnancies, use birth control, choose to be parents or choose to not have children, just like any people do. Today and every day we are fighting to make sure that transgender people are included in conversations about reproductive health care.
Why use trans-inclusive language? For starters, it’s more accurate! A person’s need for abortion access or prenatal care is due to their body parts, not their gender. Trans men, intersex individuals, cisgender women, nonbinary people, and gender non-conforming folks can all have abortions. In addition, only using the word “women” can perpetuate the idea that cisgender women’s reproductive abilities are the most important part of their value and identity, and dismisses the experiences of cisgender or transgender women who cannot, or choose not to, become parents.
Gender-inclusive language can also be more straightforward—instead of vague conversations about “women’s health” and “choice” that don’t specifically address the issue, we can more openly discuss who gets pregnant and how they can access abortion.
Got it! What should I say to be more inclusive when talking about reproductive health care? Here are some helpful phrases to get you started:
|Instead of saying…||Try saying…|
|Pregnant women||Pregnant people|
|Women’s rights or women’s health care||Reproductive rights or reproductive health care|
|Prenatal support for mothers||Prenatal support for parents|
|“She” when referring to a hypothetical patient (e.g.: when a patient visits the clinic, she first completes her paperwork….)||“They” when referring to a hypothetical patient (e.g.: when a patient visits the clinic, they first complete their paperwork….)|
|Women and transgender people||People|
|Transgender or nonbinary people||Transgender people, including nonbinary people|
Why are you talking about this now? First, it’s past time for conversations around abortion to include trans people. Not only have trans people needed abortions just as long as cisgender people have, but trans healthcare and rights and abortion care and rights are tightly linked by their roots in bodily autonomy.
Second, we want YOU to feel empowered to start having conversations about this!
And most importantly, we want all transgender people in Maine to know that Mabel Wadsworth Center is a health care provider they can trust.
Where can I learn more?
- Read and share our blog post, Using Inclusive Language in Abortion Care is Essential
- Check out our Transgender Resources Packet
- Explore Innovating Education in Reproductive Health’s Sex and Gender 101: The First Steps to Creating Trans Inclusive Care with our Client Advocate, Aspen Ruhlin
How can I get involved?
Join our email list to get more information and resources on trans-inclusive abortion care and to hear about future opportunities to help fight for abortion access.