A maternity advocacy organisation is facing horrific abuse on social media after it used trans-inclusive language in a Twitter thread calling for patient centred care for pregnant people.
The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services Ireland (AIMS Ireland) referred to “pregnant people” in the tweets, prompting significant backlash from anti-trans activists.
The organisation received numerous responses from various Twitter accounts – many of them anonymous and based in the UK, United States, Canada and New Zealand – criticising them for using trans-inclusive language.
None of the responses from anti-trans Twitter users delved into the any of the issues facing pregnant people during the COVID-19 pandemic – which was what the thread was actually about.
AIMS Ireland faces surge in anti-trans abuse after referring to ‘pregnant people’ in a tweet.
As the international backlash from transphobic Twitter accounts grew, many trans-inclusive feminists replied to AIMS Ireland’s tweet to express their support for their inclusive language.
Many feminists have responded to the backlash to point out that the word “people” actually refers to women too.
AIMS Ireland responded to the transphobic pile-on in a series of tweets posted on Sunday evening (27 September).
“Everyone deserves dignified, autonomous, high-quality, evidence based care, regardless of how they identify,” one tweet said.
In a second tweet, the group said none of the anti-trans backlash had mentioned “the systemic failures of Ireland’s maternity services or the human rights of birthing individuals”.
AIMS Ireland use gender inclusive language in all our communications, and no amount of transphobic abuse will stop us doing that or representing the viewpoints of all pregnant people in Ireland.
“They don’t care about what happens to pregnant people, women or girls,” AIMS Ireland added.
The organisation also clarified that they have been using inclusive language since 2016, when the organisation first voted in favour of doing so. They now use a mix of “people, individuals, women, and ‘women, girls and other pregnant people'”.
Folks, Thank you for all the solidarity, love, and support. AIMSI work very hard to be inclusive in our representation of the very diverse group of individuals in contact with us, whom utilizes services within the maternity continuum in Ireland. #aimsireland
— AIMS Ireland (@AIMSIreland) September 27, 2020
The group confirmed that it was forced to block 142 Twitter accounts following a surge of transphobic abuse. They said much of the backlash had come from outside of Ireland.
AIMS Ireland said in a statement that the word “women” is not fully representative of the population accessing maternity services in Ireland. They said all pregnant people “deserve dignified high quality information, support and care”.
Many trans allies urged people to donate to AIMS Ireland following the transphobic backlash. The organisation confirmed on Monday that it received €500 in donations as the transphobic backlash intensified.
“We are often subject to transphobic abuse and rhetoric, and this type of abuse is obviously an amplification of the experiences that trans people, girls, non-binary people and others face within our maternity service,” AIMS Ireland chair Krysia Lynch told PinkNews.
“AIMS Ireland use gender inclusive language in all our communications, and no amount of transphobic abuse will stop us doing that or representing the viewpoints of all pregnant people in Ireland.”
Lynch added: “Those depending on our support, advocacy, and campaigning and our large base within Ireland are fully on board with our messaging.”