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Sweden keeps sex-change sterilization law

TT/The Local/dl · 12 Jan 2012, 14:37

Published: 12 Jan 2012 14:37 GMT+01:00

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The Christian Democrats have convinced the other centre-right parties to set aside a new legislative proposal that would have scrapped the law, arguing that the issued is legally complex and needs to be examined further.

Opposition parties decried the move, claiming that a majority of members in the Riksdag support efforts to ditch the demand.

“It's too bad that the government and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt haven't taken into account that there is wide support in the Riksdag to scrap the [sterilization] requirement,” Social Democrat MP Lena Hallengren, deputy chair of the Riksdag social committee, told the TT news agency.

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.

In the proposal for new legislation, to be be presented by the government this spring, the conditions that sex change candidates are unmarried and Swedish citizens will be dropped, according to TT. But not the sterilization condition.

In the autumn of 2011, both the Moderate Party and the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) expressed support for changing the law.

"We don't see it as modern, and it doesn't fit with our view of human beings," said party secretary Sofia Arkelsten to the TT news agency in September.

But concerns from the Christian Democrats were great enough to sway the other parties of the governing centre-right Alliance to put off new legislation and instead commission an inquiry into the matter.

According to Hallengren, the move amounts to an attempt to dodge the issue.

“It means that the Christian Democrats have won and that the Moderates don't think it's important,” she said.

Green Party MP Agneta Luttrop called the law outdated, arguing it should have been changed long ago.

“It's a macabre law. It's not dignified that in 2012 someone should be forcibly sterilized,” she told TT, questioning what good will come from additional examination of the issue.

“Other countries don't have demands like this and it hasn't presented an legal complications,” she added.

Christian Democrat MP called the decision a victory for social affairs minister and party head Göran Hägglund and an indication of the positive dialogue that takes place between the governing parties.

“It's important that we stand by the precautionary principle and don't rush into legislation. This question needs to be looked at more closely,” he said.

Liberal MP Barbro Westerholm had previously indicated she planned to push the issue in the Riksdag, but has been forced to retreat.

Story continues below…

“I can live with this. It's a positive step forward where that had previously been deadlock. Sometimes it takes time to reach the goal, but it's better than having things stop completely,” she told TT.

In a statement, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (Riksförbundet för homosexuellas, bisexuellas och transpersoners rättigheter – RFSL), criticized the decision, claiming that “government stability” had been given priority over respect for human rights.

“It's extremely remarkable that a democracy like Sweden now believes that this must be examined further,” RFSL chair Ulrika Westerlund said in a statement.

She pointed out that the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) proposed changing the law back in 2010.

“To now want to investigate the matter yet again can't be seen as anything else than that those who have ordered the inquiry want to reach a different conclusion for political reasons,” said Westerlund.

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

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Your comments about this article

15:14 January 12, 2012 by gabeltoon
This sounds like something the nazis did in the ww2. SWEDEN i am surprised that you would think of such a law.Shame on you.
15:49 January 12, 2012 by strixy
Why not sterilise all political opponents as well then? This resembles nazism and should be trialed in the European Court of Law.
15:50 January 12, 2012 by lewni
In a country that brags about the rights to wear bedsheets and such, can't share the same basic human right of free choice to people who change sexes ? Are you religiously backwards or what ?!
16:30 January 12, 2012 by mikewhite
It's time they gave this rule the chop ...
17:54 January 12, 2012 by byke
I think such operations should be allowed, but on what medical basis?

Mental Health? ... Should such a high risk group be allowed to have such operations and follow up health related costs which as an individual is very expensive to the publicly funded health budget.

In regards to the Nazi comments (Hitler only had 1 ball ... The others in ___ ______")

What Sweden has failed on is the ability for so called transgendered to reclassify their sex.

While such operations may help mental insecurity, they are purely cosmetical. And by the government to allow the reclassification of gender is fraud, since the medical establishment have not found a way to reassign sexes.
20:36 January 12, 2012 by Nemesis
@ byke,

What is your personal issue with these people?

Seriously you go on about them and have even claimed to campaign against there rights in the past.

What is the the issue?
21:36 January 12, 2012 by byke

I don't have any personal issue with "these people" (as you refer to them)

I don't support fraud, regardless of the reason.In the same way I don't support MP's expenses claims in a fraudulent manner.Or the bankers who have stolen money from the peoples taxes.

A rose by any other name ....

What allot of people don't seem to consider is not just the environment a child could be expected to live in and the social stigma. But the increased possible hereditary issues that could have devastating effects on the child's health. But most importantly, such surgery is supplemented with large amounts of hormones and very strong drugs in an attempt to suppress parts of the body which could have devastating effects on any attempt to reproduce and it's offspring.

Unfortunately, so much attention is spent on the patients rights which is primarily a cosmetic procedure.That it completely overshadows and ignores the human being and issues it could be made to suffer because of that of the parent.

It's like breeding a human for spare parts.
23:15 January 12, 2012 by Dr. Dillner
I am confused . . . let's say that one is a male and wants to be a female. Getting rid of the testicles would be an important first step, right? If not, all that testosterone would inhibit conversion.
23:25 January 12, 2012 by Nemesis
@ byke,

To be blunt, what you are saying is similar to the nonsense that the catholic church comes out with.

Cross sex hormone treatment would very quickly chemically sterilise a person. Add in anti-androgens and you should have chemical sterilisation in a couple of months.

Sex change surgery would instantly sterilise someone. The testicles are cut of and the overies are removed the other direction.

Someone getting a sex change is not fraud. They are just living there lives.
09:22 January 13, 2012 by engagebrain
Sweden has a long and sad history of sterilization.
09:59 January 13, 2012 by byke
@ Nemesis

Again, is name calling the best you can do?

You can be as "Blunt" as you want, but the facts remain the same.

- Fraud

- Mental Health issues

- High suicide and self harm

- Heavy medication that effects the reproduction system

- Social Stigma

Add to this the name calling, and it would appear to me that this perversion of information by yourself to name call and present misleading facts and coverup much of the many issues this type of surgery involves, reminds me more so of the religious style of organisations you like to try to smear people who disagree with you, with.

What allot of the readers seem to fail to understand is, this is NOT forced sterilization.

Patients who elect to have such do such on their own free will.

This is an agreed package for what is basically state paid, extensive cosmetic surgery that itself is not due to disfigurement and is only done so on mental health grounds for aestheticall changes.

Many medical establishments set rules on what patients need to do, to qualify for surgery.

People who abuse alcohol, dont find it very easy to get liver transplants do they.
11:28 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
@ engagebrain,

Sweden has a very long history of sterilisation. They sterilised 63,000, most of whom were Sami. Unfortunately that mentality still exists in a lot of quarters in Sweden, even though mostly hidden today.

@ byke,

A minority does not commit fraud by existing. I have heard that fraud arguement before regarding minorities and to be blunt that type of arguement is disgraceful.

They don't do you any harm or anyone else. Did you ever hear of live and let live?
11:30 January 13, 2012 by McChatter
@ engagebrain

A slight, but important, correction "Sweden has a long and sad history of ENFORCED sterilization" And it's not just the Christian Democrats who are involved.


Have you proof of your facts regarding Fraud, Mental Health etc.?
13:13 January 13, 2012 by byke
@ Nemesis

Yet again you are making false statements in an attempt to pervert this discussion.

And at no point have I nor anyone else on this thread, made any mention of the "right to exist". In fact your use of such, is much more akin to Nazi propaganda.

Receiving state backing to deliberately mislead is fraud. Simple as.

The same way that impersonating a police officer is a criminal offense.
13:21 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
@ byke,

There is no fraud, except in your mind.

You clearly have some reason to hate that minority.

Produce your evidence of fraud. There is none. Existance of a minority is not fraud.

@ McChatter

Yup, the Social Democrats were the main drivers for sterilisation of people they did not approve of.
13:30 January 13, 2012 by byke
@ Nemesis

There is no point in having a discussion or being part of such if you deliberately look to make false claims in an attempt to justify your views.

Deliberately attempting to change legal identification documentation to state a different sex to that in which you are biologically, is Fraud.
13:38 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
@ byke,

So someone changing there name when they get married to there spouses name is fraud as well, in your book?

Byke, there is no point in having a discussion with on you on the subject as you are consumed by hatred of that particular group, for whatever reason.

Seriously you really need to consider the concept of "live and let live" towards people that do you no harm.
13:48 January 13, 2012 by byke
@ Nemesis

14:07 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
@ byke

Look in the mirror.
22:50 January 13, 2012 by ffa11
Can't believe all the morons who are refering to this as FORCED-sterilization! Or Nazi for that matter.

Think about it. A women wants to LEGALLY call herself a man. Since NO man has any FEMALE reproduction organs it is required to remove those female parts = sterilization.

What these people wanna do is to change the definition of "man" to include pregnancy, and they are not honest about it! Invent a third sex then if you must instead of lying.
14:23 January 14, 2012 by eanswyth
People on this board seem very ill informed about gender dyshoria. It is a medical condition, not a choice. In a nut shell all fetuses start off as female, about 8 weeks or so into gestation the body gets (if its to be a male) testosterone, which turns it into a male body, shortly afterwards there should be a shot of testosterone into the brain to alter it into a male brain. If this does not happen for whatever reason (the are varied ideas on this, genetics, a drug called DES given to mothers in the1960's 70's, stress on behalf the mother) the child will be born with the body of a male, but a female brain. (For Female to Male transsexuals reverse this.)

The brain is the most important gendered organ of the body, it decides your sex, not your body. It has a sort of map (I dont know the correct term), if this is set to female and the body is male the person will suffer is the most awful way.

Without treatment with cross sex hormones and often surgery the suffer will go slowly out of there mind, often resulting in very bad depression and sometimes suicide. Lots of transsexual people die before they get the courage to seek treatment, which has a very high success rate, most going on to lead very productive lives.

To say to go through this is a choice just shows great ignorance of the condition, it is a birth defect, I don't think any one would choose to go through the amount of suffering and pain transition can cause, if you are born with this you do not have a choice. I am transgenderd, I hate the pain I have caused to my family and loved ones, but if I had not I know I would be dead and not writing this.
17:44 January 14, 2012 by zoroastrina
byke I find your views repulsive, abscheulich, anstößig, abscheuerregend, degoutant, abstoßend and Abscheu erregend. Byke is byke and zoro is zoro and never the twain shall meet cognitively or socially---horrors.
19:51 September 26, 2012 by Ulvenkai
It's a complete and utter violation of human rights. What could there POSSIBLY be to think about?

Sweden is meant to be on the forefront of human rights protection and dignity. Where are the human rights; where is the dignity in forcing steralisation?

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