Belgium Complies with United Nations, Abolishes Forced Sterilization
I was shocked today to find out that much of supposedly liberal, progressive Europe forces transgender people to undergo sterilization.
In May, Belgium’s parliament voted to abolish enforced sterilization, after the nation’s policy was blasted as a violation of human rights.
Who knew? Not just in Belgium, but in many European countries and beyond, transgender people who want to be recognized legally by their chosen gender, have to undergo reproductive sterilization.
Way back in 2013, the United Nations called on all nations to rid the books of draconian laws that called for or allowed forced sterilizations in any circumstances.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in April:
“The requirement to undergo sterilization or treatment involving a very high probability of sterility in order to change the entries on birth certificates was in breach of the right to respect for private life.”
Apparently, the practice still occurs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.
If you’re thinking that progressive, sophisticated France is ahead of the game, you’re right, sort of. France banned the practice too, but just last year in 2016!
We can tentatively applaud these moves forward, although I’m shocked that any western nation still sterilizes anyone except for serial violent sex offenders.
Along with many transgender rights groups, I’d also like to see the process for legalizing your chosen gender sped up, with bureaucratic delays eradicated and the need prioritized by governments. This is the least in respect to trans people, in my mind.
Some groups are pushing for the abolishing of lengthy processes for legally validating the chosen gender of trans children. This well intentioned desire to honor trans rights for all ages should not be argued in the same categories as the obvious need to eradicate sterilizing trans women. This is another issue, and not all transgender rights groups agree since in effect, pushing for transition for children often results in nonreversible sterilization. I suppose that saves the government some time.
In any event, it is noncontroversial to demand that those countries still practicing forced sterilization of transgender people or ANY people immediately stop this heinous affront to humanity.