A new mum has called out Australian government health forms that refer to the mother as a ‘birthing parent’.

Sall Grover – who gave birth to her daughter last week – slammed the “alienating” term, which she noticed on official Medicare paperwork.

“Attention women in Australia: On the form to put our newborn baby on our Medicare card, we are referred to as ‘birthing parent’,” she tweeted.

“Enough is enough. This absolute bullsh*t is exclusionary, alienating and derogatory towards every woman wants to be and is called ‘mother’.

She added, “Having to sign my name next to the title ‘birthing parent’ on a government form is just too close to a Handmaids Tale dystopia for me to feel relaxed & ‘inclusive’ to be honest, & I’m quite apprehensive of anyone who is happy to be called ‘birthing parent’ on a government form.”


In an interview with the Today Show, Grover referred to the form as an example of the “erosion of women’s rights”.

“It’s this dehumanising, ridiculous language that we’ve been expected to use,” she explained.

“I think it’s appalling, offensive and it’s to please fringe activists and lobbyists who have made such a big deal over this sort of language, and come after us and call us bigots for not accepting it.”

“If the word mother bothers you so much, then motherhood is going to be quite a shock isn’t it?”

Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten has since stepped in, confirming that the gender-neutral term will no longer appear on Medicare forms.

“When I was informed of this situation yesterday, I instructed the responsible officials they should cease using the previous government’s forms,” Shorten tweeted.

“They will be replaced with new forms that use the word mother, not birthing parent, which is consistent with other Medicare forms.”


Jackie Turner, Trans Equality Advocate at Equality Australia said not everyone who gives birth can accurately be described as a ‘mother’.

“While this term describes the experience of women – the majority of people who give birth – it does not describe the experience of men and non-binary people, who give birth to children too,” she told SBS.

“It is the role of government to ensure services and programs respond to the needs of everyone, including transgender and gender diverse parents.”

Missed The Christian O'Connell Show? Catch up by clicking play below and join us from 6AM every weekday!