As coronavirus sweeps across the country, I am sure people will be reassured to know that the NHS is doing everything it can to address the pandemic, at such times when a health service’s resources are likely to be overstretched.
So it must come as exactly no comfort to see what one section of the NHS was highlighting this Friday:
“Ensuring pregnant trans men get equal quality care.
There may be some lucky people who had to read that twice. Or read it more than once and are still labouring under the impression that the headline includes a glaring misprint.
Others, alive to the absurdities of the age, will know that the NHS is doing exactly what one would expect. As while, no, it is not the case that there are pregnant men, there are indeed people who are pregnant because they were born as women and have carried out a degree of physical transition to look like a man. A transition some way short of full surgical alteration as, after all, if somebody gives birth, they must have the necessary female organs and reproductive system. Something which would ordinarily have them categorised as ‘women’.
Anyway, people can read here about how to ensure that ‘pregnant trans men’ get equal care in the NHS. You can also learn about seahorses. Seahorses being a species where the male carries the baby. As though the fact that seahorses do means the NHS might pretend some human males do too.
Since it is possible that, in the days ahead, more people are going to need the lifesaving help of the NHS than usual, it seems an extraordinarily unwise use of NHS funds to make any kind of intervention on the matter of ‘seahorses’ at this moment. For while one wing of the NHS is off in this la-la-land, the rest of the health service is having to deal with issues of deep, medical urgency. 'Equal, quality care' is going to have a very different ring to it by this time next month – a point at which I predict almost nobody in the country will be asking about seahorses.