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Government split on sex-change sterilization

Published: 04 Feb 2012 16:43 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Feb 2012 16:43 GMT+01:00

The Swedish government divisions over moves to scrap laws requiring compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery re-emerged on Saturday after comments by Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund.

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.

Social minister Göran Hägglund stated in an interview with Sveriges Radio on Saturday that the proposal to amend legislation to be presented by the government this spring will remove the age and citizenship requirements but retain the sterilization requirement.

This position has previously been reported by The Local and according to a report in January the Christian Democrats had managed to persuade the Alliance government to put the issue on ice.

But the minister later distanced himself from the comments, with his press secretary underlining that the issue had not yet been resolved and remained under discussion at the Government Offices.

"It was an unfortunate phrasing. He should perhaps have been clearer that this is his own opinion," Martin Kits, Göran Hägglund's press secretary, said on Saturday afternoon.

"Regardless of the position you adopt, there are additional issues to be addressed before a bill can be written," he added.

The other Alliance parties are at odds with the Christian Democrats on the issue, with the Moderate Party, Centre Party and Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) all in favour of abolishing the requirement.

The opposition parties are also critical of Hägglund's stance.

"The Social Affairs Committee has promised to address this before the summer. For Göran Hägglund to now say that the issue is not be included in the spring proposition is a broken promise," Agneta Luttropp, social policy spokesperson for the Green Party, said in a statement.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

21:13 February 5, 2012 by BritVik
My personal feeling is that - if one changes sex, then the body should completely reflect that change - full stop.

These people cannot have their cake and eat it. A male chooses to become a female - then there should be no chance of that person becoming a 'father'. A female chooses to become a male, then there is no way the person can father a child -or be able to become pregnant. Not if the process of sex change has been 100%. Sterilisation hardly comes into question - not if the sex-change process has been carried out to the full - as it should have been. Certain organs cannot be implanted, therefore it is never a 100% sex change and never can be.

That - as a layman - is purely my opinion.
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