SWEDEN – Many political party leaders stood up for abortion rights for 28 September this year   

RFSU is the Swedish member of the IPPF and a pioneering Swedish organisation working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. For the seventh year in a row, RFSU urged politicians, activists and members to stand up for abortion rights for 28 September on social media. Abortion rights are strong in Sweden. A large majority of the leaders of the parliamentary parties took part in our annual Stand up for Abortion Rights campaign on 28 September. One of them was Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. He described abortion as “a fundamental human right and a matter of course in an equal society”.

Several party leaders pointed out that restrictions on abortion rights are taking place around the world and women are still dying as a result of repressive abortion laws. Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson reminded us that similar repressive forces still exist in Sweden too.

RFSU’s Kristina Castell said: “We are pleased that support for abortion rights is so stable in Sweden. But we also know that abortion is a right that we can never take for granted. There is a global backlash against human rights in general and against abortion rights and LGBTI rights in particular. It is more important than ever to show that we are a strong force and an unstoppable movement.”

The proposal to enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution was a recurring theme among the government parties. “With constitutional protection, we want to give abortion rights stronger legal protection and status as a human right in Sweden,” wrote Liberal Party leader Johan Pehrson. “In general, RFSU is in favour of anything that can strengthen abortion rights both in Sweden and worldwide, including the issue of constitutional protection,” said Kristina Castell.

The ongoing investigation into changing abortion legislation to make it possible to self-manage an abortion at home was highlighted by Minister for Social Services Camilla Waltersson Grönvall and Minister for Gender Equality Paulina Brandberg in their speeches.

Allowing home abortions and updating the Swedish abortion law is something that RFSU has long fought for. “We look forward to the results of the investigation that the government has set up, but we think that the investigation is scheduled to last far too long. It will take several years before the new law can enter into force. A faster investigation period would improve access to abortion care in Sweden,” said Kristina Castell.

SOURCE: RFSU, E-mail from Kristina Lod Castell, 4 October 2023