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Abstract

This article examines the rationale of the continuing Finnish transgender sterilization requirement against the background of reproductive justice. I examine how and why the Finnish public debate on removing the sterilization clause from the Trans Act does not include an equal demand to 1) include a parental law reform and 2) a legislation on accessible, affordable and just reproductive health care for transgender persons and (cis)women alike. I will argue that since the citizens’ initiative of the marriage equality legislation in Finland was followed by another citizens’ initiative to reform the Maternity Act to include lesbian couples, transgender reproductive justice became a secondary issue. Another influence in the debates is the ongoing Finnish discussion on the declining birth rate and the heterosexual responsibility to reproduce for the sake of the nation.

Note on the Author

Julian Honkasalo is a postdoctoral scholar in Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Honkasalo received a PhD in Gender Studies from the University of Helsinki in 2016 and a second PhD in Political Science from The New School for Social Research in 2018. Honkasalo’s current research project deals with the history of eugenics and transgender sterilization legislation, as well as the history of transgender activism and resistance to biopolitics. Honkasalo is also active in the Finnish movement for transgender social justice and is a board member of the grassroots organizations Trasek ry and Sateenkaariperheet ry

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