‘Women get pregnant and not men’: Gov. DeSantis picks new anti-woke fight
Ron DeSantis seeks the end of Roe as a godsend. Image via AP.

DeSantis pro-life
The Governor also compared the current right to abortion in Florida to China and North Korea.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is joining the chorus of conservatives criticizing the use of gender-neutral terms like “birthing people” when describing pregnancies.

The national debate on abortion spawned a secondary front in the culture war in recent weeks as some on the left ditched phrases like “pregnant mothers” to be more inclusive to transgender men and nonbinary people. During a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on abortion access on Tuesday, a University of California, Berkeley law professor called Missouri Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s comments “transphobic” when he questioned references to “people with a capacity for pregnancy,” an exchange that garnered significant media attention.

Speaking in Putnam County on Thursday, Florida’s Republican Governor took the opportunity to opine on gender-neutral language when asked about implementing stricter anti-abortion laws.

“Some of the people in Washington, like, can we actually agree that women get pregnant and not men? Because they don’t seem to say that,” DeSantis said. “It’s just unbelievable, some of the stuff that you’re hearing about that.”

The Hawley exchange wasn’t the only time language around pregnancy entered the national debate. In outlining President Joe Biden’s budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year more than a year ago, the administration swapped references to “mothers” with “birthing people,” drawing criticism. And last month, in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups used gender-neutral language when describing abortion.

DeSantis has made a point to combat “woke” culture. Last year, he signed legislation banning transgender women and girls from competing in women’s and girls’ sports. And in April, he signed what he called the “Stop WOKE Act” (HB 7) to prohibit lessons and training which tell students and employees that they’re inherently racist, sexist or oppressive because of their race, color, sex or national origin.

He also has derided “woke” corporations like Disney, which came out against Florida’s law restricting discussions about gender and sexual identity by teachers.

DeSantis in April signed a 15-week abortion ban (HB 5) into law, which Florida Republicans based on similar Mississippi legislation the U.S. Supreme Court upheld 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. But by a slimmer 5-4 margin, a majority of the Court also overturned Roe v. Wade, opening the possibility for Florida and other states to enact stricter laws.

However, Florida’s constitution directly outlines a right to privacy, which the Florida Supreme Court has previously ruled includes the right to abortion for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Republicans and the DeSantis administration expect litigation over the 15-week law to make its way to the state Supreme Court, where they hope Justices will overturn the state’s right to abortions.

DeSantis called the 15-week abortion ban the “best pro-life legislation” Florida has seen in decades.

“Basically, we’ve had, for many decades now, very radical state-level judicial decisions that really makes us closer to China and North Korea when it comes to being very radical with abortion policy, and so that’s not the appropriate thing for courts to be imposing on the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

The DeSantis administration appealed a lower court’s decision that initially ruled the abortion ban unconstitutional. The Governor expects an appellate court to advance the case soon, and the next question is whether the Florida Supreme Court will take the case.

“I think that they probably will because I think this is a really important thing for them to decide,” DeSantis said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


46 comments

  • Just a comment

    July 14, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    Lucky for international Waters. I am waiting for my ship to come in

  • Elliott Offen

    July 14, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    China and North Korea? DeSantis is the one rolling back rights and supported orange Hitler. Wft?

  • Joe Corsin

    July 14, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Shoveling money to the rich, decades of low wage slavery, and no effective government intervention to prevent poverty and economic turmoil. The do nothing GOP has perpetuated this plutocracy through far right propaganda and obstruction…and they blame the Democrats for it all. These GOP hogs are lying crooks… should be executed. They’ve got their supporters so stoned on right wing propaganda that they don’t know their bung holes from their lips…all while they continue to grift them to a husk.

  • Tom

    July 14, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Mental handicapped running wild in Dem, Dum Manchurian nation. The 3 above just flowing.

    Is this a controversy? Are just, Elliott, and Joe able to be impregnated? As men.

    Doesn’t FP and it’s staff have something else more serious to address?

    Really ignorant topic.
    People are eating dog food cause of Biden Harris. Get serious.

    • Lynda

      July 14, 2022 at 6:56 pm

      Source of “eating dog food caused by Biden Harris”??

      I would like you to post names with pictures showing people eating dog food (other than frat boys) or a reputable research organization confirming your statement and confirming high food prices are caused by Biden Harris.

      Not sure you have priced either dog or cat food recently. Very high prices world-wide because of complex reasons the uneducated rarely try to understand. Thus they don’t support actions trying to calm inflation; restricting corporate greed of energy companies as an example.

      We have serious problems in the USA. All people who love this country are trying to help fix those problems. Others just stand by and throw insults. . .or violent threats.

      • Tom

        July 14, 2022 at 7:38 pm

        You can find them Lynda.
        Dems said that all day when Reagan was potus. Dems for Dog food!

        No you are wrong. Biden could care less, he never taljs about poor people. Harris has no clue.

        This is all the dumb ass AOC, Sanders no green deal inflation, no carbon gas deal. Biden’s economic advisor, Bryan Deese called it the new liberal order last week. No one at the WH has a clue you fool. Granholm told people to but a green car for $75,000.

        The Dems have destroyed the economy. People have to choose gas, rent and or dog food.

        Spare your liberal lectures. The working people are fleeing the Dems.

      • Tom

        July 16, 2022 at 3:07 pm

        Yes you idiot Linda. Thanks to Biden Harris inflation, economy Americans eat dog food.

        Aren’t you morons proud of your vote.
        Good going.

      • Tom

        July 26, 2022 at 3:14 pm

        Yes you idiot Linda. Thanks to Biden Harris inflation, economy Americans eat dog food.
        Aren’t you morons proud of your vote.

    • Wlm L. Leap

      July 15, 2022 at 1:24 pm

      For the trans men who are denied access to quality health care because they are pregnant or have reproductive health issues, this is not an ignorant topic. And barriers to health care do not magically disappear by demanding that these men be called “women” . This is not a controversy for you, Tom. But for those affected, and their loved ones, this issue is a matter of life & death.

    • Max

      July 16, 2022 at 8:56 am

      Another moron without a clue.

      • Tom

        July 16, 2022 at 3:09 pm

        Go kick some ass Max.

    • Brandon

      July 18, 2022 at 2:51 pm

      speaking of getting real, get real. desantis is taking us back evades in regards to equality and freedom. all to pander to bigoted rightwingers.

  • Frankie M.

    July 14, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Sounds like Ronnie is passing some tax cuts for businesses and we’re gonna pay for it. Don’t let the left hand distract you from what the right is doing.

    • Tom

      July 14, 2022 at 6:45 pm

      Frankie, yes you can get pregnant.
      You are unique.

      Moron, Legislature has to approve tax cuts.

      Btw, you openly questioned reserves.
      Now $21 billion in state account.

  • Lynda

    July 14, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    Re: DeSantis and reproductive health care for women including abortions.

    The only “very radical” policy decisions proposed now come from the Pro-Fetus Anti-Women zealots who are overreaching in every state with a so-called Republican legislature. These zealots, including some very delusional women, are struck dumb with their power. Proposals of banning travel between a woman’s resident state and any other state in the country is beyond extreme or radical. It follows exactly the dictatorships of Russia and China which have such bans. DeSantis needs to be careful he is not considered an ally of the zealots whipped into frenzies of fetus love by lies.

    DeSantis must walk a fine line as he knows the radical position of “no abortions anywhere even to save the lives of pregnant women” zealots is opposed by nearly 90% of USA voters nationally. So he can’t get away with his normal pandering to the extremes to move himself up in the 2024 polls.

    • Tom

      July 14, 2022 at 7:40 pm

      First trimester is all you get.

    • Tom

      July 14, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      DeSantis saved Florida, even for liberal Manchurians. America’s Governor.

      • Max

        July 16, 2022 at 8:57 am

        DeDa tis hasn’t saved squat you ignorant meathead.

        • Tom

          July 16, 2022 at 10:07 am

          Male morons, America’s Gov is the best! Saved Florida. Even for losers like you.
          No males provide birthing.
          No ovaries, no babies.
          Just stupidity from max, others.

    • Dan

      July 17, 2022 at 12:07 pm

      Both sides are holding radical positions. That’s the reason we have had no progress on this issue since 1973. No one wants to give ground.

      Only 18% of Americans support unrestricted abortions up to the minute of birth. Only 6 countries in the world allow that radical position. Even most of Europe restricts abortion once the fetus is viable around the 15-18 week mark. A majority of Americans support banning abortion once the fetus is viable. That is the majority position in the United States and most of the western world. Most people believe once that fetus is medically able to live independently of the mother, the mother should not be able to abort it. But if you propose that bill, Democrats will vote it down. So this issue is never going to be solved. The Democrats are supporting a radical position.

  • John Barron

    July 14, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    DeSantis is desperate. Trump is going to announce his run soon. Trump knows he won’t win; he’s not out to. Trump is only out to derail DeSantis. Ross Perot style. Buckle up Ron, this ride is called the ‘wrecked tit maker.’

    • Tom

      July 14, 2022 at 8:58 pm

      You can have a baby too john.
      You are an idiot.
      All you whiny bastards bout America’s Gov.

      • Just Saying

        July 18, 2022 at 8:01 am

        There has been some research on the matter. While rare, biological sex is a bit fluid for humans in some cases. Some copy and paste research on the matter. I know science and reading isn’t exactly something DeSantis and company likes to do but I find it hard to believe that out of all the non normative potential biological sexes one of the four is incapable of at least being pregnant.
        The six biological karyotype sexes that do not result in death to the fetus are:

        X – Roughly 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 5,000 people (Turner’s )
        XX – Most common form of female
        XXY – Roughly 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000 people (Klinefelter)
        XY – Most common form of male
        XYY – Roughly 1 out of 1,000 people
        XXXY – Roughly 1 in 18,000 to 1 in 50,000 births

        IMO, it seems childish to get so worked up over what probably amounts to inclusivity virtue signaling language from the left.

  • woke wook

    July 15, 2022 at 7:39 am

    Rona, perhaps you are aware of how the word “woke” came to be used in popular culture to, in essence, say “beware” If so, every time you use the term as Fix Entertainment does, you further reinforce that you are a racist. You pander to those old, white men who are racist and sexist. Some of the rich ones give you lots of money. But, know this, many of us are “woke” and proud. America is all about overcoming our past flaws such as denying women the right to vote and considering black people to be property. We will overcome. We can progress together to further the ideals of democracy, liberty and equality for all people. However, we will have to do that by defeating Rona at the polls, and in the courts. I’m so woke it’s not funny.
    I’m woke to you Rona, so woke.
    By the way Rona, Covid is raging in Florida, thanks in part to your lack of leadership. Wake up Rona!

  • Wlm L. Leap

    July 15, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    For the trans men who are denied access to quality health care because they are pregnant or have reproductive health issues, this is not an ignorant topic. And barriers to health care do not magically disappear by demanding that these men be called “women” . This is not a controversy for you, Tom. But for those affected, and their loved ones, this issue is a matter of life & death.

  • just sayin

    July 15, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    This wasn’t a controversial position even four years ago. You people have lost your minds.

    • Tom

      July 15, 2022 at 8:42 pm

      LMAO , just saying.
      You can’t make this stuff up.
      The Dems are so mental.
      I don’t know your name, but Leap you are ill. No, you cannot be impregnated. Stop, you do not have ovaries.

  • Bend

    July 15, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Words like pregnant or with child is a personal preference..and never forbidden

  • For you

    July 15, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Woke might be feeling currupt but that all over the world can’t get away from that
    As for saying pregnant or with child that is happening even in other languages

  • Cancel Tom the Troll

    July 16, 2022 at 7:45 am

    Mods: please ban Tom the troll. Too much Q has fried his brain.

    Also, Tom: You do understand that the terms “Sex” and “Gender” refer to different things, no?

    • Tom

      July 16, 2022 at 8:27 am

      Men do not have ovaries, moron.
      Men do not give birth moron.
      Don’t talk ignorant moron.
      Men do not, do not give birth moron.
      Cancel, troll my ass moron.
      You idiot.

      • FYP

        July 16, 2022 at 9:41 am

        Let me fix your post:

        “MALES do not have ovaries.
        MALES do not give birth.
        I’m sorry for being ignorant.
        I’ll go back to my Fox News now
        – Tom”

        • Tom

          July 16, 2022 at 10:02 am

          You and the ass lickers need fixing, LMAO.
          Go flush yourself dumb ass.
          How’s your male pregnancy going, LMAO. Get your ovaries checked. Get your ultrasound. LMAO. Wipe yourself.

        • Tom

          July 16, 2022 at 3:00 pm

          FYP, The only thing you can fix is your bottom anatomy.
          FYP, Make sure you insert a birth canal.

          You and your ilk are dumb asses.
          Enjoy! What a bunch of idiots!
          Go make Rachel Maddow meow,

          LMAO woke as in joke!

          America’s Gov is the whiz kid Gov.
          He whizzes upon you and un cultured left daily, with a smile,

  • Tom's a Tool

    July 16, 2022 at 8:58 am

    https://theconversation.com/the-difference-between-sex-and-gender-and-why-both-matter-in-health-research-162746

    ‘The concepts of sex and gender continue to be used interchangeably despite international efforts to address this issue.

    The term sex is generally used to refer to a binary of being either female or male as denoted by attributes that comprise biological sex. Gender, on the other hand, is meant to refer to the various socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender-diverse people.

    For example: Do you want to know if a new drug was tested and approved for safe and effective use with women? That is a “sex” question. Do you want to know why women make up the majority of long-term care workers and how this impacts their lives? That is a “gender” question.’

    Now, to back to your Fox News and let the adults have a conversation.

    • Tom

      July 26, 2022 at 3:16 pm

      You are bastard!

  • FED UP WITH THE LEFT'S BULLCRAP

    July 16, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    ORANGE HITLER????? HOW DARE YOU CALL HIM THAT WHEN YOU ARE FOR ABORTIONS YOU NUTTY ASS PERSON! YOU ARE ONE OF THE THOUSANDS WHO EUTHANIZE INNOCENT HUMAN BABIES. MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU AWAY!

  • Hey Man

    July 16, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Barack Obama is a gay Kenyan Muslim

  • Parrish

    July 17, 2022 at 9:34 am

    And what’s incorrect about it? Biological men do not have a uterus or a womb, and they do not produce eggs therefore, they can’t get pregnant.

  • Dan

    July 17, 2022 at 10:45 am

    I think it’s funny how liberals always scream “Follow The Science!” but sit there and claim men can get pregnant. LOL! You you even realize how stupid you people look by making such ridiculous claims? You don’t look smart, trendy, or politically correct. You just look completely stupid refusing to accept reality.

    Men do not get pregnant! It is biologically and genetically impossible! That is the science! Only the female gender actually produces the offspring. That’s consistent throughout the entire animal kingdom. If a woman feels like she should have been a man….then let her believe whatever makes her sleep better at night. But she is still utilizing FEMALE reproductive organs and genetics to produce a pregnancy and a baby! Genetic males cannot in any way, shape, or form get pregnant. What is it about that reality you Democrats refuse to accept?

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 17, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    Rape of freedom daily by Republican white men ! Yes you Desantis and Rutherford and Rubio. Jerk offs Republican white men! Vote em out to hell

    • Jerry

      July 18, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      Rubio is Hispanic.

      • Tom

        July 20, 2022 at 9:19 pm

        LMAO, both Jerry and Dan!
        So good, that’s priceless.
        Red Sonja, she’s a mental idiot!
        You can’t make her up.
        Sonja u only bang white men, baby!

  • Tom

    July 20, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    Yes, and Parrish too.
    LMAo, thinned you all.
    Such a massive wipe out coming for all these Manchurian ass kickers, without ovaries, no birth canal, no fetus, and no ability to be impregnated.

  • Jeff

    July 22, 2022 at 1:16 am

    There is no such thing as “trans men”.
    It is not a “fight” over whether only women can get pregnant. Everyone who’s not insane understands that only women can get pregnant.

  • Tom

    July 25, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Tell the extremist left!

Comments are closed.


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