Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) spoke out against transphobic critics who attacked her for using inclusive terminology.
The congresswoman was discussing Texas’ new anti-abortion law in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN, which bans the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
During the interview, AOC said “menstruating person” to be inclusive of trans men, non-binary people and others who menstruate in addition to women.
The politician took to Twitter to clarify her comments when news outlets generalised her wording to mean just “women”.
“Not just women,” AOC wrote. “Trans men & non-binary people can also menstruate.”
“Some women also *don’t* menstruate for many reasons, including surviving cancer that required a hysterectomy.
“GOP mad at this are protecting the patriarchal idea that women are most valuable as uterus holders.”
As acknowledged by AOC, the comment was slated by conservative critics who ridiculed her for using the inclusive phrase.
In a follow-up tweet, the 31-year-old told those not acknowledging the wide range of people in our society to “grow up”.
She added: “Trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people have always existed and will always exist. People can stay mad about that if they want, or they can grow up.”
Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, responded to criticism that the law could force rape victims to bear the child of their attacker.
“It doesn’t require that at all, because obviously it provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion,” he said.
Responding to the comments, AOC explained that a menstruating person may only be two weeks late for their period, meaning six weeks would not be enough time to get the abortion by the time they know they are pregnant.
“I don’t know if he is familiar with a menstruating person’s body,” AOC said in reference to Abbott. “In fact, I do know that he’s not familiar with a woman – with a female or menstruating person’s body, because if he did, he would know that you don’t have six weeks.”
AOC has served as the US Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019 and is a member of the Democratic Party.
Trans, two-spirit, and non-binary people have always existed and will always exist.
People can stay mad about that if they want, or they can grow up ✌🏽🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 8, 2021