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MEPs demand Sweden lifts trans sterilization

Members of the European Parliament call for the Nordic state to repeal transgender sterilization law

MEPs demand Sweden lifts trans sterilization

Members of the European Parliament are calling on Sweden's governing coalition to repeal current gender reassignment legislation following the government's decision to continue the forcible sterilization of trans people.

It was announced last week that the mandatory sterilization of people undergoing gender reassignment surgery will continue, despite opposition from both the Moderate and Liberal parties.

The Christian Democrats along with other centre-right parties agreed on stipulations regarding marital status and citizenship but would not compromise on the issue of sterilization.

State-enforced sterilization has ended in European countries such as Austria, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The Netherlands are expected to follow suit this year after the government received fierce criticism over their Civil Code, which violates the rights of transgender people.

Raül Romeva i Rueda, Green MEP from Spain describes the government's decision as 'surprising', saying: 'Forcibly sterilising transgender people is recognised as inhumane across the political spectrum. It’s barbaric, outdated and highly unnecessary – not to mention against Sweden’s human rights commitments.'

Sirpa Pietikäinen, Finnish centre-right MEP, has added to the argument, stating: 'Mr Reinfeldt’s government should remember that a person’s dignity and integrity are cornerstone values for Christian Democrats. For transgender people, this means being free to undergo the changes they wish to, no more and no less.

'This isn’t about LGBT rights; it’s about human rights and torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.'

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners All Out have organised an online petition to urge Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to stop the forced sterilization.

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