• Sweden edition

Liberals push for end to sex change sterilisation

Published: 03 Aug 2011 16:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Aug 2011 16:15 GMT+02:00

Barbro Westerholm of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) is set to take the initiative on the issue as soon as the Riksdag reconvenes for the autumn session.

"This can not wait any longer," she said.

According to legislation passed in 1972, to undergo a sex change operation a person must be over 18-years-old, a Swedish citizen, be sterilized and unmarried.

Only the Christian Democrats and the Sweden Democrats are currently in favour of retaining the law.

At their party conference in July, the Christian Democrats rejected an earlier suggestion from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to remove the sterilization requirement.

“A sex-change means that you willingly subject yourself to treatment in order to change your gender, and if you do that it is also reasonable that you give up some gender-specific properties of your old sex,” Maria Larsson, minister for children and the elderly, said in a speech at the conference.

Westerholm explained that the Christian Democrat conference decision means that the government are unable to unite on the issue and instead opted to put the vote to parliament.

"The Christian Democrats have their decision and Göran Hägglund can therefore not take his own initiative in the ministry. Then the Riksdag has to do it," she said.

"People must be allowed to live their lives as they wish as long as they do not harm anyone else," she added.

Westerholm does not envisage that her move will create any problems for the Alliance coalition.

"The government has shown that it can stay together and then one should also show that some issues can be resolved by other means," she said.

The government has previously been forced to find other parliamentary constellations in order to address matters relating to LGBT issues.

The reforms to marriage legislation in 2009 was achieved through motions in the Riksdag, as the Christian Democrats refused and the government could not find a compromise all could agree on.

The Registered Partnership Act of 1994 was also adopted directly by the parliament with the support of the opposition.

The issue of forced sterilization is a hot topic at this year's Pride festival in Stockholm, where American Thomas Beatie who has given birth to three children held the opening speech.

A year ago, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) suggested a removal of the sterilization requirement and that it should be possible for people to freeze their gametes.

Speaking at the Pride festival on Wednesday, Social Democrat leader Håkan Juholt gave his backing to Westerholm's initiative.

Between 1934 and 1976, when there was a change in legislation, it is estimated that 63,000 mentally disabled people, epileptics and people with alleged social problems, were coerced to undergo sterilization in Sweden against their will, or pressured into agreeing to the operation in order to be allowed to marry or be released from mental institutions.

In 1999, Sweden agreed to compensate some of the victims of forced sterilization, offering each individual up to 175,000 kronor ($28,000).

Maria Larsson was however not amused by the comparison to the state imposed sterilizations in Sweden's past.

“I feel slightly concerned when people compare this rule to the forced sterilizations from history - there is no comparison, let me be clear on that. This is about how someone willingly has chosen to change their sex,” Larsson said.

The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:15 August 3, 2011 by prince T
It is ironic that SD is against this bill.
17:43 August 3, 2011 by Jes
Oh , i have a wonderful suggestion for the allmighty leberals : since we live in a world of recycling ( is that the word ?) why don´´t those who have no use for penises donate or exchange the bits with the one with viganas that they don´`t need ?

These lesbians i am told , buy and use rubber penises . Wouldn´`t it be better for them to get the real thing on Blocket ?

Also , I think it is a waste to have all these useless intestines some of which could eazlily be converted into baby manufacturing bits for" women men"
18:12 August 3, 2011 by JulieLou40
What's a vigana?
18:26 August 3, 2011 by conboy
Ah the scientific sophistication of the human adult. I pity the children!
18:48 August 3, 2011 by play nice
"minister for children and the elderly"


Somewhere in the bowels of the Department of Ministers and Mischief there must reside a minster for war and peace.
19:28 August 3, 2011 by J Jack
I think the reason for the sterilization originated from the fear of sex changers becoming mind changers and wanting their old gender back. It was considered such a drastic measure that medical professionals wanted patients to be absolutely sure about the decision.
19:50 August 3, 2011 by jostein
There are no liberals in sweden.
23:47 August 3, 2011 by here for the summer
Why would the government pay for a sex change ? Regardless of the sterilization issue. ?
00:16 August 4, 2011 by Nemesis
@ here for the summer

For the same reason they pay for all other medical procedures.

Sweden is more or less an advanced European democracy.

Sweden is not the same as the USA or Somalia, which both deny there citizens socialised healthcare.

Everyone in Sweden is entitled to healthcare, regardless of who and what they are.
09:07 August 4, 2011 by byke
I believe in the right to have a "sex" change.

However, I think it's labelled wrong as it doesn't change your sex, it simply changes you appearance.

I agree that sterilization is a controversial offset, but again .... I can see the justification in it especially if the state is paying for what is very exspensive cosmetic work as such.

Last but not least, I don't believe in gender identification change.

Having a personal ID that classes you as a different sex to that you were born with is wrong. No sex change as to date can change your sex, and any government ID that is issued to that effect is fraudulent and should be banned or ID should state male, female or tranny.
09:28 August 4, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@nemesis #9

Sweden is more or less an advanced European democracy? Sure? Let us define what Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but which is usually exercised indirectly through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed.

Dictatorship is a form of government in which a ruler or small clique wield absolute power (not restricted by a constitution or laws).


Communist is a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian - party holds power; state controls are imposed with the elimination of private ownership of property or capital while claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people (i.e., a classless society).

Now, you can choose.

But, I fully agree with you that everyone in Sweden is entitled to healthcare, regardless of who and what they are.
10:17 August 4, 2011 by Stickeroo
Disgusting, how bout we shoot em all instead. Deviant pigs. It's just sick. And BTW, Sweden is a Commie country! Duuuhhhh!!!
10:20 August 4, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
Of course the liberals are pushing for an ending to sex change sterilisation. They have to find out to which group they belong. Someone should push for a brain sterilisation so they would stop making and saying so many stupidities in a row.
11:30 August 4, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke,

With your arguement about changing ID for transsexual people, you do realise that you are suggesting that transsexual people produce there medical history when applying for a job, insurance, banking, applying for a morgage, buying a car, etc.

The Identification is changed for a good reason, so as to reduce discrimination of which there is still a considerable amount in our society.

The ID change is not fraudulent. It is just a reflection of reality.

Put yourself in the position of a transsexual person for minute.

Imagine if you were unable to change ID, so had to produce the ID of a different sex everytime you went to the bank, contacted your insurance company, called the police, got on a plane, travelled to another country, talked to a receptionist at a doctors appointment, etc, etc.

Within a day you would be climbing the walls.

Ask yourself this.

Would you want women who are on contraception or are infertile to be identified by there ID or men who have had a vasectomy or penis cancer to be identified by there ID at every point in there life where they have to produce ID?

I think not.

That is literally along the lines of what you are suggesting.

You should stop and think before calling for an entire minority to be discriminated against for no reason other than existing. When you go down that slippery slope, who do you discriminate against next.

@ J. L. Belmar

Sweden is a democracy. It is not perfect, far from it , but it is still a democracy.

Also Sweden is not a classless society. The class system in Sweden very much exists and is more rigid than in most other Europen countries. The Swedes just hide it well.
11:52 August 4, 2011 by byke
Nem, yes I do realize that this type of cosmetic surgery coupled with ID papers that don't falsify their sexual definition could cause issues.

The same way that if a straight person who has a big tattoo on his face may make it harder for them to get a job in a bank.

They have made the choice for whatever reason and should have to weigh up the pros and cons of any such surgery.

The purpose of state or national ID is to ensure and help prevent fraud.

By falsifying such information with the intension to defraud, no matter what social issues they are trying to combat is still wrong.

Fraud is fraud no matter what the reason.

And this type of state sponsored fraud needs to be stamped out.
12:12 August 4, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

You are one of the not so many now in Sweden that truly believes

that Sweden is a democracy. Well, you made your choice. I have to go to the optrician, because I am beginning to see more and more commies hanging around. specially inside the government and the political parties.

For me, it is a dictatorship with communist roots, and that is my opinion. Waiting for the insults, as usual.
13:02 August 4, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

It is not fraud and you know that. A human beings existance is not fraud. Your arguement is based purely on hatred of a particular group in society, not on any rational basis.

Based on your ideas, that entire group would not be able to work, travel on a plane, get insurance, get a mortgage, etc. That sort of thinking is twisted.

That takes a real level of hatred against a group which does nothing to anyone as far as I can tell, apart from getting there heads kicked in, on a regular basis, by people who say what you are saying.

What have they ever done to you?

@ J. L. Belmar

The present leadership of the Social Democrats and Moderate parties spend more time sitting with Chicago school economists, JP Morgan representatives and US Chamber of Commerce people than they do with there own constituents. They have been slowly slipping into Sweden Neo-Liberal ideology for the last 15 years.

Just because there is a communist party in a country, does not mean that anyone in that country even knows what a communist really is.
13:11 August 4, 2011 by cogito
@Nemesis ( #9, yet again, displays her ignorance.

In the U.S., the Medicare program provides health care for the elderly. 39.4 people over the age of 65 received Medicare benefits in 2009. The figure is estimated to approach 50 million in 2011 as the first wave of baby-boomers reach retirement age.

The care the elderly receive in the U.S. is far better than the abysmal care provided for the elderly in Sweden.

Medicaid is a health care program for people with limited income. It covered care and medicine for 29 million children, including dental, and 15 million adults in 2010.

It is federal law in the USA that no one, citizen or not, may be denied medical care for lack of insurance.

Facts are pesky things.
13:21 August 4, 2011 by Jes
Dear @ Julietou40 .

"vigana" is the liberal version of "vagina" .,okay ?
14:57 August 4, 2011 by byke
Nem, I am afraid I have to say that while we may not agree on this subject.

You have stepped over the line in pure desperation in attempt to justify your view on this subject by making fictional scenarios and false claims of what other such as myself are supposed to be thinking.

So I will say it again, I don't care if a person wants to surgically attach a huge black dildo onto their forehead and a couple of cabbages onto the side of the head in attempt to to look like an interracial love child of princess Lea and an elephant.

However, if this person the wants to be re-classed as a different species or different sex without scientific evidence to prove they are what they say. Then I don't believe they should be allowed to make such fraudulent changes.

This type of elitist double standards have no place in a free and democratic society.

And any attempt to justify this type of gender fraud should be both banned and action taken against such individuals who look to defraud such. It's one thing to allow others to assume, it's another thing entirely to use documentation that is fraudulent in an attempt to mislead.
17:28 August 4, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

As I said before.

Based on your ideas, that entire group would not be able to work, travel on a plane, get insurance, get a job, get a mortgage, etc.

That is just plain sick.

As for evidence.


It was shown in that research that the condition is real and not imagined, fraud or any onything else.
17:44 August 4, 2011 by byke
@ Nemesis

Regardless of what you think may happen, that doesn't justify fraud.

If there are social problems associated with such cosmetic surgery, then these issues need to weighed up by the individual before such action is taken.

Otherwise forcing such double standards onto society via the allowance of such fraud simply to aid those who have made such decisions undermines freedom and democracy.
18:01 August 4, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

So in your head someone getting a sex change undermines freedom and democracy. Where did that idea come from?

As a matter of interest what other groups in society would you like to ensure can not travel on a plane, get insurance, get a job, get a mortgage, etc?
18:31 August 4, 2011 by Rick Methven
If you were born a man then you will always be a man whatever cosmetic surgery you have to make you look like the opposite sex. The same goes for women.

I accept that there are both men and women who's hormones are at odds with their physical reality.They are free to undergo cosmetic surgery to change their physical appearance, dress as the opposite gender, and live as the gender they feel more comfortable with but to legally change their gender on passports, ID etc is just taking the mickey out of the system. You could end up with a woman who becomes a man, having babies and claiming mamaledig bidrag and papaledig bedrag at the same time. I'm sure that it is possible to live publically as one sex while really being another.

I knew a cross dresser who was a man at work and at home for 25 years while being a woman in his free time, without being found out.
19:28 August 4, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Rick Methven

Transvestitism is completely different from and completely seperate from transsexualism.

If ideas from your mindest was implemented for that group, they would not be able to work, travel on a plane, get insurance, get a job, get a mortgage, etc.

Are there any other groups in society that you would like to ensure that they can not travel on a plane, get insurance, get a job, get a mortgage, etc?
20:38 August 4, 2011 by byke

Again you are making quotes which I haven't stated.

In regards to the hardship transsexuals may face if they choose to undergo surgery, then I am afraid they will have to bear that burden by themselves if they so choose.

I can't see how airlines could prevent you from flying based on your appearance.

As a passport with a photo of the subject and whatever name they want to go by, has nothing to do with their sexual identification definition.

But that's not the point.

The point is this is a minority group.

A minority group that has freedom of choice to go for surgery usually at the cost of the tax payer. However choosing such should not by in any way give them extra rights than any one else in society to defraud others.

If trannies want to take on the industries you claim are working against them, then such minorities need to take on these business groups head on through a legal route. And not look to defraud and justify such based on whatever insecurities they may have.

A crime is a crime, regardless of the reason.

Do we tell drug addicts they are immune to prosecution for stealing, simply because they can not afford to pay for drugs but were born with an addictive nature?
20:52 August 4, 2011 by Rick Methven

Reverting to style again.

When you can not support your own weird claims you resort to fantasy again.

Give up a loosing battle and go back to playing games on your computer
09:02 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

If a person does not have identification that reflects who and what they are, they will not get on a plane. Goto the airport with your wife's passport and you will find out exactly how what you are proposing would affect a transsexual person.

If someone does not have ID that reflects there present ID, then they have a nightmare getting a job, opening a bank account, getting a job, etc. Your idea would put a person in the same situation as an illegal immigrant, with no proper access to any services in society.

You have clearly stated in comment 22 that allowing transsexual people to have appropiate documentation to survive in society undermines freedom and democracy.

Your statement from comment 22.

"Otherwise forcing such double standards onto society via the allowance of such fraud simply to aid those who have made such decisions undermines freedom and democracy."

Where does that nutty idea come from?

Democracy is not underminded by someone getting a sex change, getting appropiate documentation changes from the governent and then getting on with their lives.

How does that undermine freedom and democracy?

Do you realise how crazy what you are saying comes across as?

Where do you get an idea like that?

@ Rick Methven

You also oppose giving transsexual people appropiate ID. You made that clear in comment 24. Your attempt to conflate transvestitism with transsexualism is very strange.

The only weird claims here are yours. You are actually argueing for an entire group in society to not have the right to a private life, to not be able to work, to not be able to fly, to not be able to get a job, etc. That is a very twisted stance to take regarding a minority group.

Trying to detract from your obvious attack on a minority by attacking me personally is a tactic that will not work.

Also just because you sit playing computer games all day, that is your problem not mine.
09:41 August 5, 2011 by byke

It undermines democracy and freedom simply by allowing a particular group to be immune from prosecution, through fraudulent means. It's a double standard which justifies fraud and undermines truth.

If I went to the airport with my wife's passport, of course I won't get on a plane..... Because it's not my passport and doesn't reflect honesty.

Again because it's fraudulent. However if I go to the airport "all glammed up" as betty spaghetti, and have a passport that has my legal name on (I don't object to name changes either ... so for instance, if Andrew wants to become Angela ... So be it) and have a photo in my passport that is honest and reflects how I look, regardless of how much surgery I may or may not had. Then I will be allowed on the plane regardless if I look like a chick, have a chicks name, have a photo that looks like me but my passport states I am a male.

Because as long as the passport is honest and reflects factual information, then it's a document that can be trusted.
10:00 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

How does a transsexual getting there documents changed to reflect there new reality make a group immune from prosecution?

Where did you get that idea?
11:16 August 5, 2011 by byke

They are immune from such prosecution since the government is aiding in this fraud of gender document fallacy and allowing such to be used as legal identification in the open world. You can't say that trannys get a new gender ID card from the government, only to be then prosecuted by the government for using their ID cards.

If a government allows the reallocation of a sexual description on its citizens ID documentation then it has to be sure that this change is more than just cosmetic changes, it does in fact need to be true from a scientific point of view which at present it is not.

As gender reallocation only deals with cosmetic changes and heavy amounts of drugs in an attempt to suppress the bodies natural production of sexual related hormones.

If we have this discussion in 10 years time and science has found a way to truly change a persons sex, then we won't be having this discussion .... As then if a transgenic is truly able to mutate to an opposite sex within their own natural human production , then I believe an ID change would be just ....  example : Male (T)  the "T" would add a new variant extension  to the ID to the sexual description of such transgenic mutants.

But until that time comes, myself and many others will campaign for the abolishment of the current fraudulent identification.
12:15 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

You say you are involved in compaigning against transsexual people being allowed to have appropiate identification in thre new sex

What group are you involved with that is campaigning to remove the rights of transsexual people and for what conceivable reason?

Also is that back in the UK or here in Sweden?

I really don't get why anyone wants to attack that group.
12:42 August 5, 2011 by byke

I don't hate any group and again have not said that.

I have stated my objection that falsifying ID documentation is illegal and action should be taken to ensure that ANY person who uses such to deceive or defraud should be held legally accountable for their actions.

Which really brings into question, if so many people of this minority do look to commit fraud. Should the state pay for such cosmetic procedures when it seems to help amplify such criminal behavior.
13:54 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

They are not committing fraud. They are merely existing. Your arguement is a hate based arguement.

Who would they be committing fraud against for merely existing?

If your ideas were implemented, transsexual people would not be allowed to get insurance, work, marry, travel, open a bank account, have a house, etc, etc.

Your ideas for that minority are completely insane.

You really need to stop and think what you are seeking.

As I asked before.

What group are you involved with, that is campaigning to remove the rights of transsexual people?

Also is that back in the UK or here in Sweden?
18:02 August 5, 2011 by zoroastrina
The analogy to forced sterilization in Sweden's and Germany's hístory is indeed relevant and not far-fetched Ms. Larsson!
18:17 August 5, 2011 by byke

Thank you for your response.

I am afraid that while we may not see eye to eye on this subject. I am unwilling to entertain your views since you you obviously are looking for confrontation and name calling rather than fact.

I truly and honestly hope you one day are able to come to terms with your own self identity. While you can run away from places and change your appearance or name etc, Its obvious you can't run away from yourself and until you are able to be honest to yourself you will will never be happy. So I am afraid we will just have to agree to disagree on this particular subject and I hope you one day are able to look within yourself and love the person who you are and not who you fear is perceived by others.
18:28 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke

What are you talking about in your reply?

You clearly do not like answering awkward questions about with is clearly a personal issue for you with a minority. it is clear from your statements that you have a real hatred for that group that goes beyond dislike.

I will ask you the questions again.

Who would they be committing fraud against for merely existing?

What group are you involved with, that is campaigning to remove the rights of transsexual people?
23:07 August 5, 2011 by Streja
I agree with everything Nem has said here. It is not fraud to have a new ID with your changed gender (ie the gender that you have always felt that you were since childhood).

Personally I could care less if someone who was male turns female on an ID. It does not make me feel less of a woman. It doesn't weigh on my mind at all. I have other issues to discuss, like racism and fighting people who actually hurt other people.
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