Sajid Javid thinks using trans-inclusive language could cost lives

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Sajid Javid delivers his speech at the Conservative Party conference on October 5, 2021 (Ian Forsyth / Getty)

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has reportedly claimed that using trans-inclusive language in healthcare facilities could literally cost lives.

Javid made the shocking statement at the Conservative Party’s annual conference on Tuesday, October 5, at a side event hosted by the right-wing think tank Center for Social Justice (CSJ).

The minister hinted that non-sexist language could cost lives, The temperature reports, and that the NHS should refer to “women” when sending out invitations for cervical screening, rather than language that includes trans men, non-binary and intersex people.

“For women, I have noticed that the use of cervical smears has been declining in recent years. And these tests really, really save thousands of lives. And I want more women to come in and have a Pap smear test, ”he said.

Javid’s comments completely ignore the basic fact that cervical screenings typically do not include trans men, non-binary, and intersex people.

Only people registered as women with their general practitioner are automatically invited for cervical smears. Trans men whose cervix is ​​registered as the correct sex, as well as intersex and non-binary people whose cervix is ​​registered as male, are eligible but must request an appointment, as per to NHS.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Britain’s leading cervical cancer charity, has repeatedly stressed the importance of inclusive language around cervical health that includes trans men, women and men. non-binary and intersex people as well as women.

Research by the association found that only 58% of eligible trans and non-binary people had ever been screened for cervical cancer, with this group facing significant barriers due to discrimination and lack of expertise of health professionals in gender dysphoria.

Using inclusive, non-sexist language is key to combating this and increasing overall cervical cancer screening rates – yet Javid has focused his concerns only on cis women.

“As a secretary of health, you won’t be surprised to learn that I think biology is important in health care,” he said according to the CSJ, adding that deleting the word woman was “unnecessary”.

He went on to say that trans rights debates should be conducted with “compassion and sensitivity” but insisted, “As Secretary of Health, I think biology is important. Biologically, someone, whether born male or female, will have different health needs to some extent.

The controversial speech followed heated debate when Javid insisted that it was a “scientific fact” that only women have a cervix.

His reckless words inevitably put trans people in the crosshairs as they were forced to explain, not for the first time, that many trans men and non-binary people in fact have a cervix.

Trans man and journalist Freddie McConnell questioned the understanding of the Secretary of Health at the time.

“I leave room for the possibility that the Secretary of Health, Sajid Javid, does not know that trans men exist or that non-binary people exist and that it is purely a question of ignorance,” he said. he declares. BBC Radio 4:00 p.m. host Evan Davies.

McConnell said statements such as Javid’s not only deny the existence of trans men and non-binary people, but “many cis women. [who] not having a cervix, or having them removed for a variety of problems ”.

McConnell added: “It’s really scary and appalling that I guess he thinks he can say it on Twitter without any consequences.”

Jules Gleeson, a leading intersex reporter, also pointed out that Javid’s comments overlooked the entire intersex community which makes up to 1.7% of the population.

“For intersex people, Sajid Javid’s cheap trolling on Twitter just adds insult to injury,” she said. RoseNews Last week.

“Intersex people both have our health needs overlooked by the NHS as it currently exists, and are still too often actively affected by it. Rather than make efforts to correct this, Javid is playing in a sick “culture war”. But intersex people have no choice if we are going to be a part of this conflict, we are apparently forcibly enlisted!

“The only advantage is that these remarks make it clear once and for all where his priorities lie: clearly not with improving the services offered by the NHS.”



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