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It’s nonsense to say sex is assigned at birth according to NHS midwives

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A statement released by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) on Thursday, June 30 has caused uproar.

The RCOG released an“inclusivity” statement on Twitter saying the sex of children is assigned at birth but NHS midwives seem to have taken offence.

One midwife responded: “When the RCM start using the language of gender ideology and not a biological fact, how can the public have faith in you?”

“It is offensive to your members, who do not assign sex at birth.”

“I am a member and I am ashamed to be represented by the RCM when I read this absolute nonsense.”

Another tweeted: “In all my 40 years as a midwife I never assigned a baby’s sex at birth. Placing ideology over the biological fact will put women and babies at risk.”

But many fellow Twitter users disagreed with the midwives with one saying: “There will come a time when responsible adults will take control of these two Colleges and the members will hang their heads in shame at the pseudoscience and Newspeak that have been promoted in their name. Sex is determined at conception, observed either in utero or at birth.”

Another responded: “Your job is to be professional and to care for pregnant women. Not to issue woke waffle like this.”

Here is the full statement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives:

To our members and staff

We recognise the importance of being diverse and inclusive in Royal Colleges so that our staff and members can be their true selves at work, and are committed to taking deliberate action to ensure everyone can thrive, feel included, valued and reach their full potential whilst working with us.

We understand that building an inclusive maternity and gynaecological workforce is critical to ensuring doctors, midwives, maternity support workers and the women and people they care for feel safe and listened to.

We, therefore, embrace and value the different experiences, skills and ideas a diverse workforce brings.

We encourage all members and staff to actively consider inequalities and how different experiences could affect a person’s interaction with the health service. It’s important we listen and learn in order to improve.

As both colleges have stated, we do not tolerate discrimination and harassment of any kind and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to tackle unprofessional behaviour.

We encourage all members and staff to support their colleagues and call out bias, abuse, racism and discrimination.

To those accessing maternity and gynaecological services:

Our shared mission is to improve healthcare for all people needing to access obstetric and gynaecology services.

We recognise maternity and gynaecological services will be accessed by women, gender-diverse individuals and people whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Therefore, we believe delivery of care must at all times be appropriate, inclusive and sensitive to the needs of everyone.

The RCOG and RCM understand the importance of language in breaking down barriers for people accessing care and are committed to using inclusive language in their communications, publications and patient information to meet the needs of all individuals.

In our language we will aim to add and not take away, taking into account the importance of preserving women-centred language as well as including language for those who do not identify as a woman.


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Anna Ellis



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