A top health official in New York is facing criticism for a tweet she posted calling White mothers “birthing people” and referring to Black and Hispanic women as “mothers”.
Dr. Michelle Morse, the chief medical officer at the New York City Department of Health, posted a series of tweets about “birth equity” and providing midwives and doulas to mothers.
In one tweet, Morse wrote ‘The urgency of this moment is clear”. “Mortality rates of birthing people are too high, and babies born to Black and Puerto Rican mothers in this city are three times more likely to die in their first year of life than babies born to non-Hispanic White birthing people”.
Morse, who was hired in February last year as the first chief medical officer for the department, was immediately criticized for her use of words.
“White Mothers are called ‘birthing people’ and black and Puerto Rican Mothers are called Mothers? Your license to practice medicine should be revoked,” tweeted one user, Kimberly Morin.
Another Twitter user tweeted “if a white person called black people birthing persons and white women mothers, everyone would be flipping out. If exposing racism is the message, then that goes for EVERYONE”.
Former New York City mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa also replied to Morse’s series of tweets.
According to The New York Post, a DOH spokesperson claimed Morse’s tweet was an “oversight” and said “we apologize for inadvertently gendering Black and Puerto Rican birthing people”.