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Thursday 12th December 2019

Loose Women spark debate about banning the term 'pregnant women'

There was plenty of reaction from viewers

Loose Women kicked off Monday's episode by asking if the term 'pregnant women' should be changed to 'pregnant people' to avoid excluding the transgender community.

The discussion came following claims the government had requested the phrase 'pregnant people' be used in a UN treaty to ensure transgender people who have given birth feel included.

It's since been clarified by the government no such request was made but that didn't stop the panel's debate.

Today's Loose Women panel - Ruth Langsford, Coleen Nolan, Jane Moore and Gloria Hunniford - agreed it was important to ensure the transgender community was represented, but they didn't feel banning the phrase 'pregnant women' was appropriate.

Ruth led the debate (Credit: ITV)

Gloria said: "I've been seeing a lot of responses to this today with many people saying it's idiotic and I'm with them. I think it's crazy. Women are women, men are men, and there have only been two transgender babies in this country registered and logged."

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I am a woman and when I was pregnant, I was a pregnant woman. I don't see why I should have to have a completely different description.

Jane agreed: "I am a woman and when I was pregnant, I was a pregnant woman. I don't see why I should have to have a completely different description."

The discussion then veered onto former The Voice UK coach Paloma Faith's decision to raise her child as gender neutral.

Ruth said: "It's almost like saying the words man or woman are dirty words. We had Paloma Faith talking this week about bringing up children as gender neutral.

"I understand in terms of toys or clothes, you don't have to be dressed in pink or blue, or play with dolls or soldiers, but biologically you are a boy or girl, male or female."

Jane felt the term 'pregnant women' should remain (Credit: ITV)

The panel suggested that life is very different now to when they raised children, with Coleen saying: "It's almost like people are embarrassed to put their daughter in pink in case someone says, 'Why are you choosing what your child wants to be?'

"I think dress your kids how you want. I had two boys and then a girl so of course I went mad on pink.

"If she got to an age where she didn't want to be classed as either, then fine. I think as a parent you should support them at every stage, whatever they want to be."

Coleen said a parent should always support their child's decisions (Credit: ITV)

Ruth then said: "It's different now for parents of a young child. When my son was young he would play with dolls or put on a dress out of a dressing up box. You never wondered if he had gender issues.

"Now it's talked about, which is a fantastic thing, but I wonder if parents feel this responsibility to think it's a problem rather than just going with it to see where it leads."

Gloria said: "We all accept kids can be born into the wrong body and we support that - but how can a four-year old know?"

Gloria wasn't happy about the proposal (Credit: ITV)

Agreeing, Jane said: "I don't really understand what gender neutral means. Kids generally in life like boundaries, they like routine and to know where they stand.

"Something like that, if you don't use a pronoun of he or she, what does that say to the child? What do they become? It?"

Naturally, the discussion sparked a huge debate among viewers.

Some were on the panel's side and said they would disagree with the phrase 'pregnant people' being introduced in place of 'pregnant women'.

Others, meanwhile, felt the Loose Women panel had taken an important and serious topic and not done it justice.

Some pointed out they were debating a transgender topic with no voice from that community.

And some felt the chat completely missed the point of gender neutrality.

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The government clarified the issue on Monday, saying it was lobbying for the rights of transgender people but not against the use of the phrase 'pregnant women'.

A statement from the Foreign Office said: "The UK does not object to the use of the term ‘pregnant woman'.

"We strongly support the right to life of pregnant women, and we have requested that the human rights committee does not exclude pregnant transgender people from that right to life.”