Transgendered fight for right to give birth

Politicians disagree when it comes to changing the current law, which imposes sterilisation on sex change operations

March 19th, 2012 1:09 pm| by admin

Politicians are set to follow Sweden’s lead in changing an old law that prohibits transgendered men from giving birth to children.

Currently all transgendered who choose to have a sex change operation are automatically sterilised in the process, in accordance with a Danish law from 1929. The right-wing Dansk Folkeparti (DF) sees no reason to change the law.

“The rules are fine as they are,” Liselott Blixt (DF) told Berlingske newspaper. “You can’t just pick and choose whether you want this or that. If men start giving birth to children, the roles will change and we’ll all end up being confused.”

Aside from DF, all other political parties are optimistic when it comes to the question of whether men, who used to be women, should be able to give birth. Sofie Hæstrup Andersen, spokeswoman for Socialdemokraterne (S) told Berlingske that the government is moving to explore the legality of the issue, as well as researching Sweden's ongoing attempt to change a similar law.

“We are positive in regards to altering the law that forces people to be sterilised during the process of legally changing one's gender,” Andersen said.

International critics of the standing law, such as Amnesty International, argue that the practise of imposing medical or surgical treatment upon an individual who wants a sex change goes against basic human rights.

Stine Brix from Enhedslisten is highly critical of the existing conditions, which means one loses the ability to have a child if they change their gender.

“A few years ago, people thought it was madness that homosexuals should be able to have kids but today it is obviously accepted,” Brix told Berlingske. “Parenting is measured in the ability to raise a child and give it unconditional love. Why should folk who have a sex change not be able to live up to that?”

Benedikte Kiær from the Konservative (K) agreed with Brix but stressed that, although current conditions should be improved, due to the impact it may have on the children involved, the issue should be researched properly.

Since 2005, at least 30 individuals have undergone a sex change operation in Denmark and been sterilised in the process. According to the sexological clinic at Rigshospitalet, the interest in having a sex change operation has increased. They predict that in the future about ten people a year will be given the opportunity to change their sex.

Neighbouring Sweden is on the cusp of overturning a comparable law from 1972 that similarly forces transgendered to be sterilised during sex change operations.

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