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‘Limit Muslims’ birth rate’: Sweden Democrat

An outspoken local Sweden Democrat politician who previously argued “negro” is not a racist term, has generated headlines again by calling for a law to cap the fertility rate of Muslims around the world.

'Limit Muslims' birth rate': Sweden Democrat

Annika Rydh, municipal party secretary in Älmhult, southern Sweden, blogs about her work and often links to Islam-critical articles.

Recently, she linked to a film entitled “Muslim Demographics” that claims Muslims are trying to take over the world one baby at a time.

“It’s a global problem,” Rydh wrote on her blog, according to anti-fascism magazine Expo.

“We can’t tackle this locally. The international community needs to act by having some kind of restriction, like the one-child policy in China.”

Yet, BBC News has previously revealed that the film she posted on her blog refers to incorrect birth rate statistics.

The anti-immigration party’s spokesperson, Martin Kinnunen, said Rydh’s comments do not represent any official party line on how many children women should have.

He declined to comment on his colleague’s decision to link to the film.

“I don’t comment on rumours,” Kinnunen told Expo.

Rydh has found herself under fire before. In 2011, she faced flack for saying that the word “negro” was simply descriptive rather than a derogatory term.

“It shouldn’t be an insult to be called a negro. There is the red race, the yellow race, and then there’s me, who is of the white race,” Rydh told the regional Smålandsposten newspaper.

“A negro is a negro. There is nothing demeaning with that.”

The blog also links to articles on other sites with headlines such as “If it doesn’t suit you, go home”, which complains about asylum seekers’ concerns about conditions at asylum centres in Sweden.

Another link entitled “The mollycoddling is so tiresome” argues that authorities spend too much money on underage asylum seekers who come to Sweden without a parent or a guardian (ensamkommande flyktingbarn).

In March 2012, Rydh attacked Metro columnist Lisa Magnusson and accused her of heaping blame on rape victims when foreign-born men commit rape.

“Yet again it’s the victim’s fault!” exlaims Rydh.

Yet Magnusson’s column does not discuss any role of the victim, but instead argues that war-damaged migrants should receive psychological support in order to prevent potential crime.

Following the publication of Expo’s article, Rydh removed the post from her blog.

“Not being able to promote thinking about an existing problem is very strange to me, but because so many saw it as offensive, I decided to remove it,” Rydh wrote.

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What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Ebba Busch, leader of Sweden's Christian Democrats on Monday presented an "abortion contract", which she wants all of Sweden's party leaders to sign. What's going on?

What's the Swedish Christian Democrats' abortion contract all about?

What’s happened? 

Ebba Busch, leader of Sweden’s Christian Democrat party, called a press conference on Monday in which she presented a document that she called “an abortion contract”, which was essentially a pledge to safeguard the right of women in Sweden to have an abortion.  

“There is room for signatures from all eight party leaders,” she said. “I have already signed on behalf of the Christian Democrats.” 

What does the so-called “abortion contract” say? 

The document itself is fairly uncontroversial.

It states simply that Sweden’s law on abortion dates back to 1974, and that it grants women the right to an abortion up until the 18th week of pregnancy, with women seeking abortions later in their pregnancy required to get permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare. 

“Those of us who have signed this document support Sweden’s abortion legislation and promise to defend it if it comes under attack from forces both within our country and from outside,” the document reads.  

Why have the Christian Democrats produced it? 

The decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade, and so allow US states to ban abortion has aroused strong feelings in Sweden, as elsewhere, and Busch is seeking to send a strong signal to distance her own Christian party from the US religious right. 

Abortion has been a recurring issue within the Christian Democrats with several politicians and party members critical of abortion. 

Lars Adaktusson, a Christian Democrat MP, was found by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper to have voted against abortion 22 times when he was a member of the European parliament. 

The party has also in the past campaigned for the right of midwives and other medical professionals who are ethically opposed to abortion not to have to take part in the procedure. 

So why aren’t all the other party leaders signing the document? 

Sweden’s governing Social Democrats, and their Green Party allies, dismissed the contract as a political gimmick designed to help the Christian Democrats distance themselves from elements of their own party critical of abortion. 

“It would perhaps be good if Ebba Busch did some homework within her own party to check that there’s 100 percent support for Sweden’s abortion legislation,” Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s prime minister, said. “That feels like a more important measure than writing contracts between party leaders and trying to solve it that way.”  

In a debate on Swedish television, Green Party leader Märta Stenevi argued that it would be much more significant if Busch’s own MPs and MEPs all signed the document. 

It wasn’t other party leaders who needed to show commitment to abortion legislation, but “her own MPs, MEPs, and not least her proposed government partners in the Sweden Democrats and even some within the Moderate Party”. 

She said it made her “very very worried” to see that the Christian Democrats needed such a contract. “That’s why I see all this more as a clear sign that we need to move forward with protecting the right to abortion in the constitution,” she said. 

How have the other right-wing parties reacted? 

The other right-wing parties have largely backed Busch, although it’s unclear if any other party leaders are willing to actually sign the document. 

Tobias Billström, the Moderates’ group parliamentary leader, retweeted a tweet from Johan Paccamonti, a Stockholm regional politician with the Moderate Party, which criticised the Social Democrats for not signing it, however. 

“It seems to be more important to blow up a pretend conflict than to sign the Christian Democrats’ contract or look at the issue of [including abortion rights in] the constitution, like the Moderates, Liberals and Centre Party want to,” Paccamonti wrote. 

The Liberal Party on Sunday proposed protecting abortion rights in the Swedish constitution, a proposal which has since been backed by the Moderate party and the Centre Party

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