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Party May Split Over Abortion

Published tisdag 3 juli 2007 kl 13.07
Party leader Göran Hägglund voting at the Christian Democrat conference

Sweden’s Christian Democratic Party may face a split over the issue of abortion.

This comes after the party leadership succeeded in resisting calls from pro-lifers within the party, for changes to the party’s policy that would have seen restrictions to abortion rights.

According to reports in the Swedish media, a new party could break away to campaign for a total ban on abortion.

The Christian Democrats are a junior partner in Sweden’s four-party, center-right coalition government - any split within the party could also have implications for the alliance itself.

At the conference, party leader Göran Hägglund and senior colleagues, won the support of a majority of party members for his ’no change’ policy on abortion.

Hägglund, who angered many of his own party members earlier this year with a decision to allow foreign women to come to Sweden for abortions, called for ”strong commitments and preventive measures in reducing the numbers of unwanted pregnancies”.

This however does not go far enough for many Christian Democrats. According to the Christian newspaper ”Dagen”, a group of party members have advanced plans for a new party backing a total ban on abortion.

One of the men behind the initiative, Per Kronlid, told ”Dagen” that someone needed to represent unborn children.

Christian Democrat party secretary Lennart Sjögren rejects the idea that the party was divided on the issue, saying there were maybe some 20 or 30 party representatives who said they had a different view to that of the party board, amounting to less than 10 percent of all members.

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