The Editor-in-Chief of British medical journal The Lancet apologized Monday for the journal’s Sept. 25 cover that called women “bodies with vaginas.”
Richard Horton released a statement apologizing for The Lancet’s front cover titled “Historically, the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been neglected,” saying that they did not intend for women to feel “dehumanized and marginalized.”
Our new issue is here! On the cover—’Periods on display’ and the cultural movement against menstrual shame and #PeriodPoverty.
— The Lancet (@TheLancet) September 24, 2021
“In this instance, we have conveyed the impression that we have dehumanised and marginalised women. Those who read The Lancet regularly will understand that this would never have been our intention,” Horton said. “I apologise to our readers who were offended by the cover quote and the use of those same words in the review.”
Horton argued that the title was intended to include all people “who have experienced menstruation” and to assist transgender people that reportedly struggle with healthcare access. (RELATED: House Dems Scrap ‘Inclusive Language’ In Abortion Bill)
— The Lancet (@TheLancet) September 27, 2021
“At the same time, I want to emphasize that transgender health is an important dimension of modern health care, but one that remains neglected. Trans people regularly face stigma, discrimination, exclusion, and poor health, often experiencing difficulties accessing appropriate health care,” he argued.
“The exhibition review from which The Lancet cover quote was taken is a compelling call to empower women, together with non-binary, trans, and intersex people who have experienced menstruation, and to address myths and taboos that surround menstruation.”
The editor-in-chief concluded that readers should read the journal’s full review to “support a growing movement against menstrual shame and period poverty” in order to gain a proper understanding of menstruation. The term “period poverty” refers to a lack of substantial access to menstrual hygiene products and education, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
In August, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky referred to pregnant women as “pregnant people” in a tweet urging them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In a CNN interview, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to women as “people who give birth” and as “any menstruating person.”