Two Swedish members of Parliament are warning that the government must continue to sterilize transgender people or risk the advent of a "third gender" or "third sex" of humans.
The Local reported on Tuesday that two Christian Democrat MPs had offered a counter proposal to a government plan to remove requirements that transgender people must be sterilized before undergoing gender reassignment procedures.
"The [government] proposal would have far-reaching consequences," conservative MPs Tuve Skånberg and Annelie Enochson wrote in an op-ed for the Christian newspaper Dagen. "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 Local noted that the current sterilization law was effectively unenforceable after a Stockholm administrative court ruled in December that the practice violated the European Convention on Human Rights.
And "patients who move on from the psychological evaluation and hormone therapy to undergoing gender reassignment surgery have faced de facto sterilization as their ovaries or testicles were removed in addition to the outer genitalia being taken away and, as far as possible, re-sculpted," the report said.
But there are also a small number of Swedes who have chosen to keep their ability to reproduce after gender reassignment.
Earlier this year, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) pledged to file a complaint on behalf of transgender Swedes who are demanding the government pay damages for the forced sterilizations.
"Sterilization was an unnecessary price to pay but if you indicated that you weren't willing to do it, that could have put an end to the [sex change] procedure, which was a matter of survival," 31-year-old Nova Colliander, who was sterilized during her 2010 transformation into a woman, told The Local.
[Editor's note: The photo accompanying the story has been changed.]