Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra refused to give a direct answer to whether “men can get pregnant” during a Wednesday hearing.
Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert asked Becerra to define the term “man,” to which the secretary replied she was “looking at one.” His answer then prompted the Colorado representative to ask the HHS secretary on whether men can get pregnant.
“Unless you know something I don’t, I think the answer’s pretty obvious,” Becerra said.
“What is that answer, sir?” she pressed. “I’m asking you what you know. Can men get pregnant?”
“I’m not aware of it,” Becerra answered.
Boebert then asked about Becerra previously calling mothers “birthing persons” in his department’s materials.
“Are mothers not persons?” he answered.
“Mothers are persons but it seems to be more inclusive, like you’re trying to include another gender in that,” she said, to which Becerra replied he is “all about inclusion.” (RELATED: ‘Human Milk’: Midwives Given New Trans-Inclusive Vocabulary Including ‘Chestfeeding’ And ‘Birthing Parent’)
The term “birthing people” stemmed from Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush at a Democratic oversight committee hearing in 2021. Following the hearing, President Joe Biden’s proposed budget proposal surrounding maternal health used the term to describe mothers.
Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford pressed Becerra during a June 2021 Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget. The secretary struggled to define the term “birthing people,” telling the senator he will review the terminology.
“Mom is a pretty good word,” Lankford said at the hearing. “That’s worked for a while.”
Traditional gendered terms have come under dispute in recent years with the rise of gender ideology. When questioned by Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson declined to define the term “woman” because she is “not a biologist.”