Christian Democrats face split over abortion

Sweden's Christian Democrat party is facing the prospect of a schism over the issue of abortion, it has been reported.

After the party leadership’s victory at the national conference last week, it has emerged that a new party could break away to campaign for a total ban on abortion.

At the Sundsvall conference, party leader Göran Hägglund and his 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”.

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

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

“There must be a party which dares to stand for that,” he said.

However, the Christian Democrats’ party secretary Lennart Sjögren said that he did not believe the party was divided on the issue.

“Not as I see it. There were maybe 20 or 30 representatives who said they had a different view to that of the party board. That’s less than 10 percent of all representatives,” he said.

Sjögren added that he did not see a new party as a threat:

“I believe there is a very small proportion of voters who would link themselves to such an abortion party.”