Sweden: Two MPs urge government to keep trans infertility requirement for gender reassignment

Joseph McCormick April 4, 2013
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Two MPs in Sweden have written an argument against the country removing its requirement for transgender people to be “infertile” in order to receive gender reassignment surgery, saying it should keep the requirement, and claiming that many trans people don’t want children.

A Stockholm court ruled in December that forcing transgender people to be sterilised breaches the European Convention on Human Rights, and that requirement was lifted in January at the end of an appeals period.

Current legislation, however, requires that transgender people are “infertile” in order to receive the treatment.

Tuve Skanberg and Annelie Enochson warned in their paper that removing that requirement would create a “third gender”. They wrote: “The [Swedish government] proposal would have far-reaching consequences.”

They continued: “The key consequence being that Sweden would introduce the possibility of creating a third gender, called ‘person’ in the law books – men who give birth,” the MPs stated.

As part of their argument, they claimed that a large majority of transgender people who undergo gender reassignment surgery want to become infertile.

As well as submitting it to parliament, the pair also published their argument in Wednesday’s edition of the Christian newspaper Dagen. A children’s doctor and a psychiatrist were also co-signatories.

Many have criticised the argument, including trans rights activists who have given examples of those who have held-off from having gender reassignment surgery as they did not want to become infertile.

Some have said that the discussion started by the arguments put forward is more academic, after December’s landmark case, and that even if parliament voted to keep the “infertility” rule, it would mean little in practice.

The Swedish parliament is set to vote soon on the proposal to drop the requirement of infertility.

Following December’s ruling, transgender people who accepted the stipulation to undergo sterilisation if they had gender reassignment surgery announced in February that they were planning to sue the government,

More: Europe, forced sterilisation, gender reassignment, infertile, infertility, Sweden, Sweden, Trans, Transgender

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