In the U.S. fiscal year budget for 2022, while addressing maternal mortality rates, the term "mothers" has been substituted by "birthing people."
The passage read, "The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and other women of color."
The fiscal 2022 document stated, in addition to the investment in maternal health included in the American Families Plan, the Budget contains more than $200 million to help address the high rate of maternal death and race-based inequities in outcomes among birthing individuals.
Shalanda Young, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), defended the 2021 Biden budget proposal's categorization of mothers as "birthing individuals" during a congressional hearing on June 9, 2021. When it came to supporting maternal health care, Republican Representative Jason Smith, a member of the House Budget Committee, pointed out that using the word "mother" rather than the gender-ambiguous phrase was unprecedented.
Smith said, "The budget requests $26 million to reduce maternal mortality and eliminate race-based disparities in outcomes among 'birthing people.'' He added, "This is a shift from recent budgets that referred to maternal health issues as women's issues. I've never heard the term before, can you explain what it means?"
Young responded, "There are certain people who do not have gender identities that apply to female and male, so we think our language needs to be more inclusive on how we deal with complex issues."
Smith even inquired if it was the administration's official policy to replace the term "women" with "birthing people." Young responded that the official policy ensured that people feel included when they get government service and that the administration was making an effort to adopt the inclusive language.