17 European Countries Force Transgender Sterilization (Map)It is unethical to require doctors to preform unnecessary surgery on a people and put their lives in danger just to satisfy societal transphobia, because some people are uncomfortable with the idea. The article goes on to say,
By Nicole Pasulka
Feb. 16, 2012
People rightly flipped out across the internet last month over news that the Swedish parliament would not be repealing a barbaric law that forces sterilization on trans people seeking to change their gender on legal documents. While it's despicable that Swedish politicians are opposing the law change, much of the outrage, no doubt, occurred because people previously didn't realize that a forced sterilization law existed in Sweden.
Considering how shocking people find Sweden’s law, it's worth pointing out the country is 1 of 17 in Europe (shown in red below) that require trans people to have a surgical procedure that results in sterilization before legal gender change is made to their identification ID. The law is currently under review in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Portugal, and in Ireland a name change (which acknowledged gender change) was granted for one woman after a legal challenge that went to the high courts, but no laws exist on the matter.
Data source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights 2009 "Issue Paper on Human Rights and Gender Identity" (PDF) takes particular aim at surgical or sterilization requirements, saying they "ignore the fact that while such operations are often desired by transgender persons, this is not always the case." People don't always want surgery, and it's often impossible because of physical or economic impediments. The Issue Paper's conclusions are clear; these sterilization requirements are "putting the transgender person in a limbo without any apparent exit.”