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Anthony Albanese’s government has sensationally reversed a decision to replace the word mother with “birth parents” on a health care form.
NDIS and Public Services Secretary Bill Shorten said the new forms would be dumped after mothers complained that the document was “dehumanizing.”
The new consent forms were introduced at three hospitals across Australia as a way to digitally upload new baby data to Medicare.
The document asked for “birth parent’s full name” in one box and “birth parent’s signature” in another instead of “mother.”
“When I was informed of this situation yesterday, I ordered the responsible officials to stop,” Mr Shorten tweeted on Thursday.
Minister for NDIS and Public Services Bill Shorten (pictured) said the new forms would disappear after mothers complained the documents were ‘dehumanizing’
The consent form (pictured) being trialled in some hospitals as a way to upload new baby data to Medicare asks for the name and signature of the newborn’s “birth parent”
“They will be replaced by new forms that use the word mother, not birth parent, which is consistent with other Medicare forms.”
Mr Shorten said the change was made as: ‘part of a pilot program started in three hospitals under the previous coalition government’.
The term “birth parent” was used in a form given to parents who participated in a Birth of a Child pilot – a digital process used to register newborns with Medicare.
It comes after a new Gold Coast mom denounced the forms as “offensive” and “alienating” to women who wanted to be called mothers.
Sall Grover, said she was shocked by the new consent forms handed to her shortly after the birth of her newborn baby.
“Women in Australia take note: On the form to put our newborn baby on our Medicare card, we are called ‘birth parent’,” she tweeted.
‘Enough is enough. This absolute Taurus—is exclusionary, alienating and denigrating to any woman who wants to be and be called “mother”.
During an interview with the Today Show on Thursday morning, she said the new consent forms were simply to please fringe activists and lobbyists.
Sall Grover (pictured) told Today Show hosts she was shocked by the new consent form which she described as:
“I know enough about what’s happening right now with women’s rights and the erosion of our language and spaces, so I know where it’s coming from,” she said.
“The fact that this government form said ‘birth parent’ shocked me.”
Today presenter Karl Stefanovic said he “couldn’t believe” the form had changed in the first place, describing it as “bureaucratic madness”.
“Motherhood is about so much more than that, it’s every other day from then on, you have your first few days of excitement, being part of that and then you see ‘give parent’, you diminish the role of me to be her here get,” replied Mrs. Grover.
She called on those offended by the term “mother” to “seek help.”
“If the word ‘mother’ bothers you that much, I mean motherhood is going to be quite a shock. Get help, deal with it if the word ‘mother’ bothers you,” she said.
Today, host Ally Langdon said that as a mother, she herself found the term “birth parent” dehumanizing.
“I feel divided about it if I’m being very honest. As someone who does identify as a mother, I see that and it’s a little off-putting to see the biological parent,” she said.
An emphatic Karl Stefanovic (left) said he “couldn’t believe” that the form had changed in the first place, describing it as “bureaucratic madness.”
Gold Coast’s mother posted a photo of the new consent form on Twitter on Tuesday, describing it as “exclusive, alienating and derogatory”
“It’s dehumanizing to me. But I understand when the surrogate and, you know, it’s not one bill for everyone.’
The new mom reappeared on the Today Show later that morning after news broke that the new forms had been dumped.
“Since that interview aired, Bill Shorten, who is a regular on the show, has been in touch to confirm that these forms have been dumped,” Stefanovic said.
“Replaced by new ones that use the word ‘mother’ and not ‘birth parent’.”
Mrs Grover said it was “great news.”
“I was actually just talking about it with my own mother and I said it’s great, fantastic. No complaint,” she told the hosts.
“It doesn’t take a genius to think it should have been ‘mother’ all along.”
Ms Grover (pictured) claimed the new consent forms were simply intended to please fringe activists and lobbyists and said people who complained were labeled ‘fools’
Mrs. Grover likened the title ‘birth parent’ to something from the Handmaids Tale (pictured)
While the new mom received an outpouring of support from Aussies, some pointed out that the word “mother” alienates other groups, such as same-sex couples, adopted parents, and surrogate mothers.
“A form that uses inclusive language is not wiping out/stealing your rights/whatever other nonsense you suggest.
“Why is it okay to alienate other groups to keep you happy?”
“It removes ambiguity for situations involving: lesbian couples, gestational surrogacy, non-cis parents, adoptive parents and many more situations.
‘Using ‘birth parent’ makes it clear and simple which person they need the signature of.’
Twitter users pointed out that the form estranged groups such as same-sex couples and surrogates
Some Twitter users pointed out that it was only one form and that children were not forced to call their mothers ‘birth parents’
However, others agreed that the words “birth parent” were not on the form.
‘Scandalous. Becoming a mother was the most special time of my entire existence. It redefined everything I thought I knew about myself,” one wrote.
‘Let’s call ourselves MOTHER! Cross it out and put ‘mother’.’
Anyone who sees this on forms should cross out the offending words and put MOTHER in block capitals,” another agreed.
“If there is space, write on the form that their description is offensive to women. This has come about because a small minority continues to be abusive.’