Blood Transfusion Service corrects ‘trangender males’ and pregnancy question 

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has corrected what is described as an “error” in its form for prospective blood donors, after a journalist asked them to clarify what was being asked. 

Well-known broadcaster Paddy O’Gorman wrote to the IBTS to point out that in a question on pregnancy they asked: “For females (cis and transgender) and transgender males; are you pregnant or have you have you been pregnant in the past 12 months?”.

The term ‘transgender females’ refers to people born male but who now identify as women. As one response to O’Gorman on Twitter noted, “There’s a group of people in that sentence that are male and can never be pregnant. It’s a biological impossibility. Why include them?”

Feminists also objected to the term cis-women, which they find demeaning, and one doctor said the IBTS quesrtion was “utterly confusing, nonsensical even.”

Dozens of replies to O’Gorman’s tweet agreed that the language was confusing as the award-winning broadcaster said “Please let’s put an end to this madness”.


“What does this language from the medical profession even mean?” he asked.

The issue highlighted the confusion around gender identity terminology, with commentators noting that biological males, however they identify, do not have the ability to become pregnant.

“Clear as mud questions from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Stephen Donnelly, medical language is supposed to be clear and unambiguous no? Who gave the green light for this ideological language to be utilised? ” asked one woman.

The IBTS at first responded by saying that the questionnaire asked: “For all donors; have you been pregnant in the past 12 months or are you pregnant at present” – but they seemed to have missed another online form which was the source of the controversy.

O’Gorman then received a reply acknowledging the error and apologising for the confusion caused .

“Success. IBTS has removed its question to donors re pregnant male and female trans people,” he wrote, before sharing the correspondence from the Blood Transfusion service.

The IBTS wrote that they had “reviewed the Regular Donor Blood Eligibility Quiz” and confirmed “this is an error in Question 10 re. pregnancy.

“Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I have notified the relevant department and this error has been corrected on the website. The question now appears as it is on our health and lifestyle questionnaire. Please accept my apologies for the confusion caused. Thank you for your assistance in this matter,” they told O’Gorman.


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