Pregnant People: A Critique of this New Concept and its Implications for Biblical Motherhood

Recently, I read a public health announcement from the County of San Diego. It was titled,
County Urges Pregnant People to Get Tested, Treated to Protect Unborn from Congenital
Syphilis. No doubt the public needs to be informed and protected with respect to public health.
However, it was unavoidable to see that the concept “Pregnant People” was intentional and it
was found throughout the article. What was missing, however, was any reference that these
“Pregnant People” were uniquely and exclusively women.

Ironically, when it comes to public health you do not read the same language on, for example, beer cans (Coors, Budweiser, Stone etc.). Instead you read the following: GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems. In this public health Government Warning you have an intentional association of women and pregnancy. Thus, maybe there is still hope for this issue to be resolved.

Moreover, in his invaluable book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman has a great insight with respect to the use of this new language regarding sex and gender. He states that “Technology, one might even say, defines ontology.” This is in regard to those who separate sex and gender. Further he says, Once the two are detached from each other…something that can only really be plausible in a world in which psychology rather than biology is seen as fundamentally determinative of identity…then the problem becomes one of the body, to be treated with medication and surgery.” Thus, because of the new view of male and female absent of biology along with the advances of technology and medicine, the use of “Pregnant People” makes sense in that worldview. That is, anyone can be pregnant. Men and women. However, that use, and view is contradictory to a Biblical view of motherhood and fatherhood.

In this paper, I will critique the use of “Pregnant People” and argue that it is incompatible with the Theological Anthropology of Scripture concerning motherhood, fatherhood and parenthood. In addition, I will argue that the church needs to be diligent to educate not only the Christian community, but everyone for the public good. As Carl Trueman warns, and this is partly due to the advances and availability of artificial reproductive technology and third-party donors, “the role of the mother will thereby be abolished….” The term “mother” is explicitly pregnant with rich relational and thus emotional realities. Children should not be taught that man can get pregnant. Here we should take Jesus’ words in Matthew chapter 18 fearfully, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

3 thoughts on “Pregnant People: A Critique of this New Concept and its Implications for Biblical Motherhood”

  1. Comments on “Pregnant People”
    Abstract could be written more clearly and concisely; it needs some further polishing. Specifically, the first three paragraphs aren’t necessary for purposes of the abstract (especially when published in the conference program). The final paragraph specifies the focus of the paper (the use of the term ‘pregnant people’) and indicates what the thesis of the paper will be (that the use of this term is contrary to a properly understood theological anthropology). The material in the first three paragraphs can be alluded to by saying something like, “Drawing on the work of Carl Trueman and others, I argue that…” There is no need, however, to include all of this filler material in the abstract itself.

    Substantively, I’d like to see a bit more in this abstract regarding *how* the author will go about arguing that the use of the term “pregnant people” is incompatible with a properly understood theological anthropology. What moves will the author make to establish (a) which conception of theological anthropology we ought to accept, and (b) why/how the use of ‘pregnant people’ conflicts with that conception?

    As written, I think this proposal has promise but needs further work.

  2. The final sentences are “chasing a rabbit.”
    I was thinking of four stars for this essay as this topic is timely and relevant. But the last two sentences drift off topic into blogosphere harangue about what should or should not be taught children. In preaching, we call this “chasing a rabbit.”


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