San Francisco Considers Ban on Baby Circumcision

baby boy be circumcised, circumcised babies, Circumcision cons, Circumcision pros, Male Circumcision, Medical Ethics, Parenting, San Francisco, how common is circumcision, should you circumcise, Ballot Initiative, Circumcision, Circumcision Ban, Foreskin, Lloyd Shofield

We’re a little ban-happy. Some bans are easy to defend. For example, most of us like it when harmful chemicals, such as BPA are banned. On the flip side, not everyone is on board with banning kids from cell phones or the Happy Meal Toy bans. Now though, Happy Meals and cell phones may be the least of our ban worries. In what’s sure to become a huge debate if it passes, is a newly proposed ban on male baby circumcision. This new measure was submitted by San Francisco resident Lloyd Schofield.

If this proposed ballot measure makes it to the November 2011 ballot, it will amend The City’s police codeto make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18.” Schofield, a long-time advocate against baby circumcision, needs to collect more than 7,100 signatures in order to get this circumcision ban on the ballot. Until this does or doesn’t happen, I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty from both advocates for and against baby circumcision.

Should baby circumcision be banned?

  • 802 Votes Baby circumcision SHOULD BE banned - there's no reason for it.
  • 814 Votes Baby circumcision should NOT BE banned - parents know what's best for their kids.
  • 16 Votes I'm not sure where I stand on a circumcision ban.

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baby boy be circumcised, circumcised babies, Circumcision cons, Circumcision pros, Male Circumcision, Medical Ethics, Parenting, San Francisco, how common is circumcision, should you circumcise, Ballot Initiative, Circumcision, Circumcision Ban, Foreskin, Lloyd Shofield

The pros and cons of circumcision alone would take us pages to discuss, so we won’t be doing that now. Both sides of the circumcision debate have research and highly emotionally charged arguments for their respected side — and that’s without even touching on the religious aspects. As everyone argues the pros and cons though, no one can argue stats. The CDC notes that there has been an increasingly sharp drop in the number of American parents who choose circumcision for their baby boys. In 2006 56% of baby boys in America were circumcised, while last year the numbers dropped to just 33% of baby boys.

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41 Responses to “San Francisco Considers Ban on Baby Circumcision”

  1. dragonflii says:

    My fianceé and I have discussed and agreed that we would not circumcise if we had a baby boy. But, I disagree with a ban. I do not think the government should have anything to do with this decision. We need to stop allowing the government to be our mommies and take our rights away to protect us. We need to make informed decisions on our own. Educate! Don’t ban!

  2. lward0810 says:

    Dragonflii- What about the baby’s rights? everyone girls AND boys should have the right to their own body their WHOLE body!

  3. quirky says:

    There’s already a ban on cutting girls’ genitals for any reason, religious or otherwise, implemented by federal law. Even a symbolic nick to the clitoral hood, which is far, far less damaging than removal of the foreskin, is illegal.

    Girls’ and boys’ genitals develop from the exact same structures in utero. When the fetus begins to produce sex hormones the fetal structures differentiate, but at the end of the day male genitals are just as full of nerve endings as female genitals and each and every part has a function in both genders. You can’t cut baby genitals in either gender without permanent damage and permanent loss of sensitive nerve endings.

    What’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. Either boys deserve just as much legal protection from genital cutting as girls do, or we should get rid of the law banning female genital cutting and allow parents to do whatever they want to their baby girls’ genitals without interference from the government. You can’t have it both ways.

  4. mixxtapes says:

    What’s best for your family and for your children is to not go through an extremely painful, forever damaging procedure that removes 70% of nerves in their most sensitive of areas. It should be illegal everywhere, like female circumcision is in this country. Infant males have the same exact rights that infant females have. Americans are so, so quick to point the finger at the rest of the world about human rights and get up in arms about things they disagree with, but when over 70% of the world’s population is NOT circumcised, who is wrong in that picture? It’s a sick, sick procedure, and anyone who is pro-circ should watch the videos of it, look at pictures of botched circumcisions, read the articles about the poor boys who have lost the head of their penis or bled to death from the procedure. Read the proof. Know that the American Academy of Pediatrics and WHO do not recommend circumcision.

    If an adult has problems with his foreskin, he can make the decision himself because it’s his body (but know that not very many men regret being left intact). A circumcised male can never reverse the damage that is done to him.

  5. bertho says:

    Your “slippery slope” argument doesn’t hold any water. Vaccinations, home-schooling and breastfeeding do not permanently remove an important part of a baby’s body.

    @dragonflii – The government isn’t taking away anyone’s rights by doing this – it would, in fact, be reaffirming the rights of every single male born in this country to have a choice in the matter. You do not own your son’s penis, and you have no right to remove any part of it for a non-medical reason. (And I congratulate you for not doing so, but you can’t say anyone else has a right to do it)

  6. pwadler2@gmail.com says:

    Actually, circumcision is illegal already, but not enforced. It’s unnecessary, non-therapeutic, extremely painful, risky surgery (it can cause death and many serious complications), and injures everyone (e.g., loss of healthy, highly erogenous tissue, impairs sex life, reduces length and girth, causes a scar, etc.)

    Circumcision violates the child abuse statutes in every state which prohibit intentionally causing bodily injury or swelling/bruising and, in many states, even the risk of harm. It is done with force and without consent, so is a criminal assault and battery. It violates the constitutional right to privacy (including especially to an intact body) and to autonomy, which are fundamental American principles of law. Thus there is a right to genital integrity.

    Doctors also have no legal right to perform unnecessary surgery except on adults with their consent. Parental consent to circumcision is invalid and no defense. Parents can only only consent to necessary, therapeutic surgery on children. When they do, it must be the least risky and least invasive (e.g., washing and using condoms, not amputating). As to healthy children, the parents’ have a fiduciary duty to protect them from harm and hence from circumcision. It is not what infants, boys and men want for themselves.

    There also is no religious exception. The Supreme Court has settled that doctors and parents cannot cause harm to or risk harming children for religious reasons.

    Circumcision has always been illegal in America, and in time will be recognized as such.

  7. layla says:

    Female circumcision is banned and illegal, don’t we owe the same protection to our baby boys?
    Have we become, as a culture, numb to how absolutely horrific male circumcision is?
    It is in fact, barbaric and cruel but since it has become institutionalized and normalized, many people accept it without question. It is time to ban ALL genital mutilation.

  8. nathan says:

    I don’t think this is taking rights and giving them to someone else I think this is simply defending the rights of male children.

  9. nicole smith says:

    Banning genital mutilation is giving rights back to the kids. Anyone who would choose to do that is not a parent, so I don’t see how it would be taking rights from parents.

  10. Jennifer Chait says:

    @bertho – “Vaccinations, home-schooling and breastfeeding do not permanently remove an important part of a baby’s body.”

    You’re not wrong. It does remove a body part, and for no good reason in my opinion, which is why I’d never do this to a child. However, I can’t, in good conscious, support a ban on this parent decision when I don’t support bans on other parent decisions.

    Take vaccines. For example, 2010 is going to reach record highs for whooping cough cases here in the USA and many children have died. Why? Because they contracted an illness that could have been prevented with simple vaccines. Death is as, if not more, extreme than cutting off a body part. Yet, I don’t agree that forcing all parents to vaccinate is the answer. So, how could I say that supporting a circumcision ban is the answer here?

    Childhood obesity is at an all-time high, and yeah, eventually kills the people it effects. Stats say that kids today will be the first generation with a shorter life span than parents. But I don’t support putting parents who feed their kids crap and allow them to sit on their butts in jail.

    If I’m not up for banning issues that result in death (fatty foods, no vaccines) then I honestly can’t support this ban either. I think parents need to one, take responsibility not blame other issues and two, learn to make decisions. If we ban and force and don’t allow people to think, why would they even try to make decisions on their own.

    That said, I do think that MUCH better educational policies should be in place concerning circumcision. Most parents I know say all they heard from their doctor was that it’s “pretty safe and common” neither of which is true.

  11. sferrn says:

    It is illegal to alter the genitals of a female infant for cosmetic reasons, or for so-called parental preference. There is no logical reason to not offer the same protection to infant boys. Physicians should not be performing cosmetic surgery on infants. In no other circumstance would it be considered ethically defensible.

  12. ihatemakingusernames says:

    There are people – called MOILS – who specialize in performing this operation with little to no distress for the baby. Hospitals do it too soon and in a way that would cause anybody trauma. Perhaps hospitals should be banned from doing it and only moils should be allowed to perform them?

  13. Rob~ says:

    Except you’re forgetting that circumcision does result in death. About 100 times a year in the U.S., if not more. It’s a little hard to come up with an exact number when the people doing the cutting can make up any reason they want for the child’s death.

    Yes, I believe all children should get vaccinated and should eat right, but not following either one of those will directly result in death or permanent physical disfigurement for absolutely no reason, and both can be corrected later on. Which is easier: giving an adult a shot or replacing his foreskin?

  14. marilynmilosrn says:

    When parents are educated, they do not allow any normal part of their baby’s body to be amputated. As said earlier, circumcision is already outlawed nationally and internationally, we just need to put the laws to work.

    The problem is that doctors make money by circumcising babies and many refuse to put their scalpels down. Or, they say “If I don’t do it, someone else will.” Or, “I do a better job than others.” Or, they buy into the excuses used for circumcision. Or, they use the excuses to coerce parents into consenting. There are just too many variables, so babies need protection from those who refuse to live up to their oath, “First, do no harm.”

    The bodily rights of the child trump personal, cultural, and religious rights. Circumcision is not a medical issue, it is a human rights issue. A ban will acknowledge that and protect the boys who need to be protected from those who refuse to respect and protect their rights.

  15. barefoot intactivist says:

    Jennifer, so does this mean you don’t support the ban on all female genital cutting that the federal government put in place in 1997? You can’t logically or ethically support the ban of female genital cutting and not support the ban of male genital cutting. Forced genital cutting is not a “parental choice;” it’s a crime against humanity.

  16. bransonsmommy0729 says:

    you know its not just human rights… its religious rights as well. some people believe that if your son or daughters gentials arent altered at birth and they pass before they can grow up and make the decision for themselves that theyll be damned.

    personally i dont believe in anything like that, but the fact that anyone would agree to ban something that is a parents decision, or a religious belief well in my opinion youre not a very open minded person.

  17. Jennifer Chait says:

    @Rob – I wouldn’t doubt that some circumcision procedures do result in death. I have no idea how many, but I’ve seen some really terrible health issues pop up because of circumcision. I’ve never personally seen a death, but I’d believe it. Where did you get your 100+ figure? I mean which organization, study, etc?

    Also, you say, “I believe all children should get vaccinated and should eat right, but not following either one of those will directly result in death or permanent physical disfigurement for absolutely no reason” How does not getting a vaccine NOT directly result in death for absolutely no reason? If said child could have had a vaccine to directly prevent the death then there was a reason – the parents choose not to vaccinate. That was the reason. Many vaccines do directly prevent disability and death.

    Also, poor nutrition and obesity can kill you. It’s a direct cause of death. The World Health Organization notes, “20 million children under age five are overweight….Carrying extra fat leads to serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon). These conditions cause premature death and substantial disability.”

    @barefoot intactivist – I know, the whole male cutting issue is insane considering that we don’t allow female cutting. But I’d no more agree to cutting a girl baby than I would a male baby. It’s not my choice to do either and I don’t personally support either. I also don’t need a ban to stop me from doing either. I needed education on the topic, which luckily I got. Other parents should also be allowed to get educated and make choices.

    I didn’t need force to make me breastfeed. I didn’t need force to vaccinate my son. I don’t need a ban to prevent me from hitting my child. I don’t need a ban to tell me that 50 hours of screen time a week is too much. There’s plenty I do and don’t do that I personally think is right, but that other parents don’t agree with.

    I think parents participate in many crimes against children that we blame on “parental choice.” Hitting a kid, for instance, is okay because that’s a parenting choice. If you hit an adult it’s assault. I see kids in schools bullied by other kids and teachers, as parents sit by and do nothing, because by choice they keep their child in school.

    Trust me, there’s plenty I don’t agree with and lots of stuff that happens that shouldn’t happen. BUT in this country, unless we can wrap our brains around a mindset that accepts that our children are as human, and as important as adults, a few bans here and there really won’t change much. We need eduction, direction and a total change of thought. I seriously doubt bans alone will do that. Changing thinking takes more than bans and slaps on the wrist. Personal choices are far more empowering and society-changing than forced choices.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Female genital cutting has already been banned so of course male genital cutting should be too! Parents have NO right to remove part of of their child’s body without medical cause! This ban would give the child back the right to decide for themselves when they reach adulthood.

  19. kara says:

    Yes, it should be banned. Medically unnecessary, painful, cosmetic surgery on an infant too young to consent (or get effective anesthesia) is obviously WRONG! We protect our girls, boys deserve genital integrity as well.

  20. barefoot intactivist says:

    @Jennifer Chait. In this case, a ban on male cutting would serve as quite the educational tool. Clearly it’s needed, seeing as 32% of U.S. boys were still cut in 2009.

    Another way of looking at it, is that circumcision is already illegal. It’s assault, child abuse, and sexual abuse. Since it’s not being forced due to cultural issues, a specific ban is needed for people to realize the insanity. Thanks!

  21. barefoot intactivist says:

    *enforced, sorry

  22. layla says:

    It’s called a “mohel” and a “bris” – religious ceremonial cutting, is absolutely painful and traumatic for the baby. The baby is still pinned down, screaming, crying and writhing in pain. there is still risk of injury and death. There is no “safe, harmless” genital cutting. None.

  23. jollyholly says:

    We couldn’t even be having this discussion if you replace the “baby boys” with “baby girls.” How about this:

    “Tell us what you think. Is banning circumcision taking away parents rights or giving rights back to baby girls?”

    Would we even be debating the parental choice argument if it were baby girls’ genitals being sliced? Or what about pin pricked? In fact, the public outcry was so fast and furious after the American Academy of Pediatrics proposed that “American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls born into communities that practice female genital mutilation” that they retracted their proposition within only a few short weeks. How are males any different? Both male and female genitalia is formed from the same basic cells in the womb when we are forming. How is it that we can debate over and over in favor of cutting a baby boy’s genitals without his permission, but pin pricking a female’s genitals without her permission is so taboo?

    Discrimination at it’s finest!!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Educate about circumcision BY banning it.

  25. liberatedmind.com says:

    A ban on circumcision is different than a ban on drugs for example. By taking drugs, a person is choosing freely to effect only themselves. Alcohol is a drug (reacts chemically in the brain) that is legal in the USA. We are free to drink as much as we like, but there are limits when those choices effect the people around us, which is why it is illegal to drive while using the drug alcohol. This protects the rights and safety of others in society.

    When parents circumcise their baby boy, they are choosing to remove a part of his body without medical reason without his consent. How is cutting off the foreskin any different than cutting off your baby’s big toes or his eyelids? It is unnecessary and effects the life of the child forever. No human should have the right to medically mutilate anyone, especially their child.

    Circumcision stems from the traditions of a bronze age religion. I certainly hope that in the 21st century we have risen above this primal sexual “marker” that was used to designate males as part of an in-group. Most males who father a child and decide to circumcise their baby boy, do so because they want their child to look like dad (i.e. circumcised). There is rarely a medical or religious reason for the mutilation. A man simply chooses it for his son because that is what was done to him as a baby.

    Thanks for the great article!

  26. halj. says:

    It’s funny. Most posts are probably from Intact America members. One thing these so-called inactivists aren’t telling you is that they are also against vaccinations as well. I had the wonderful pleasure of talking with one of these so-called inactivists when I was leaving a hospital out in L.A. This woman, as my wife and I were leaving with our newborn son, asked what gender our baby was. We told her a boy, she then asked us if we circumcised our son. Our reply was “yes”. She then procedes to tell us how wrong we were and that it is not up to us to decide about circumcision. She also asked if we had and will continue to have him vaccinated, again we replied “yes”, She then says again how wrong we were and that it is not up to us to decide. At this point I am getting angry and tell her to leave us alone. Before she left I noticed her sign she had. Its name was Intact America. I later found out why they were there at the hospital. They were protesting about circumcisions. One thing is for sure, I will never forget that day and I have told many friends about that experience with that woman and what she was holding

  27. Rob~ says:

    @Jennifer – So not getting a shot leads to you getting, say, Measles the next day and dying? It also permanently prevents you from getting vaccinated? I really don’t understand how you can be against circumcision yet continue the same idiotic arguments the pro-circ community gives. It’s the boy’s penis, it’s his decision.

    @halj – Can’t fight the argument so you attack the messenger? Good job. And yes, I follow Intact America, and my 17-month-old (intact) son has had every vaccination on schedule (give or take a month) and will continue to receive them. Just because you think everyone who doesn’t mutilate their child is a wacko doesn’t make you right.

  28. chaud_froid says:

    Halj –

    What are you going to tell you son when he grows up and asks you why you and your wife thought it was OK to subject him to circumcision? What are you going to do if your son decides he would rather not have been circumcised? That he would like his foreskin back, with all its functions and sensations.
    He might develop the desire one day when he grows up to be genitally whole. Certainly, he would appreciate the opportunity to consider for himself whether circumcision is right for him, instead of having to live with his parent’s decision for his entire life.

    Moral of the story: It was not Intact America that you offended, it was your own son….

  29. Jennifer Chait says:

    @Rob I have no idea why you’re not getting that yes, not getting some vaccines can kill you. I never said that skipping vaccines means you get “Measles the next day and die” You’re very on board with no circumcision for the rights of the child, which yes, I get. Yet, you don’t see how the rights of a child who dies from not getting a vaccine are also compromised. Again, whooping cough deaths are higher than the average this year due to parent CHOICE of not getting their child vaccinated. How is death not as serious as circumcision?

    ALSO – did you not see my question – Where did you get your 100+ figure? I mean which organization, study, etc? Everyone here keeps tossing out figures and stats but no one has backed any figures up with links to research. Why not post some if you’ve got them? I’m interested in seeing them.

    @ the people attacking Halj – That’s not cool. So far, most of the comments here have been respectful, but guess what, it would be highly annoying to walk out of a hospital with your newborn, as a new parent only to be approached right away and told what to do and when you don’t agree right away you’re told how wrong you are as a parent.

    One, it’s hard to be a parent. There are plenty of good and bad decisions we all make. Two, telling off new parents who are likely overwhelmed already is not a good tactic for bringing people over to your way of thinking. This just makes parents mad. Say Hali had another child, why on earth would this family look favorably on non-circumcision when they’ve been attacked outside a hospital, by the pro side? Support and knowledge is what new parents need. When you treat parents respectfully, it’s much easier to introduce them to new ideas.

  30. hugh7 says:

    @halj: sorry this woman was so rude, she was not a typical IA member. IA has no policy on vacciantion. IA members are as divided on vaccination (and abortion) as the rest of the community, because they are different issues.

    Equally, doctors and nurses can be pretty rude pushing circumcision on new parents. See http://www.circumstitions.com/coerce.html And you could say it was less than polite to strap a baby down and cut a normal, healthy, non-renewable part off his genitals without a pressing medical need.

    @Jennifer Chait: the 100+ figure comes from a paper by Dan Bollinger in THYMOS: Journal of Boyhood Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 2010, 78-90 Some of its assumptions have been challenged, but the scandal is that we don’t have good official figures of circumcision deaths, because they get swept under the carpet. Neither doctors nor parents want to admit that the decision to circumcise was the root cause of the baby’s death, and it’s easy to blame infection or some underlying condition instead.

  31. Jennifer Chait says:

    @hugh7 – Thanks for the info on the stats, I’ll look it up. I do agree that doctors and nurses can be rude about pushing circumcision on new parents too, among other things (formula, birth interventions, etc.). In any case, thanks for the helpful comment.

  32. Rob~ says:

    @Jennifer – sorry, my Internet connection was down almost completely for three days (amazingly they sent someone out on a Sunday!), and I forgot about this. The Bollinger paper Hugh mentioned is indeed the study I was getting the figure from.

    As for vaccinations, not everyone who isn’t vaccinated gets sick, not everyone who is circumcised dies, but they are permanently altered. Said another way: There’s a small chance not being vaccinated may get you sick and you’ll die. There’s a 100% chance you’ll lose your foreskin if you’re circumcised PLUS a small chance you’ll die. But again, I’m all for requiring vaccinations, so whatever.

  33. kotfrank says:

    What BAN? What is proposed is restricting male circumcision to medical need when all less invasive means are not viable and done by a registered medical practitioner. I fully support this because I know it to be the worst mistake in my life, having chose it at a very young age. Are people educated about the penis? No. Now 53, when I was 24 my girlfriend and I went to the UC Berkeley library to get information on circumcision for the problems I had and was having. We found none. The internet comes along and it took me 6 1/2 months searching over 8 hrs per day to really understand as much info that was out there. Obsessive, you bet. I just knew the loss of sensitivity and less erectile function was a cause from circ. that no one owing up to like Masters and Johnson (they haven’t even keep records on their sensitivity test so no one can replicate to confirm yet it was all espoused as absolute true). Today doctors are still not owing up to the harms circumcision aka genital mutilation causes. There is very little foreskin research because the truth would make the medical profession look bad. When I was a kid doctors were god. So let’s not forget where they’re coming from. Further to do foreskin research that shows it to be harmful is unethical. Can’t do harmful studies. So they continue to do harm cutting off half the penile skin and 75% of the erogenous sexual receptors. And hurting their patient unnecessarily. Totally unethical. I hope at least Lloyd Schofield is getting people to think instead of being stupid. Been there, done that.

  34. robert4 says:

    There is now concrete evidence of harm done by circumcision.In 1991, Dr. Taylor did an anatomical and histological study of the foreskin–he found that the foreskin contains the majority of nerves in the penis, and nearly ALL of the specialized nerves.

    In 2007, Dr/ Sorrels did the ONLY sensitivity study that INCLUDED the foreskin–he found that circumcised men lose up to 3/4 of their sensation and sensitivity. And the most sensitive part of the circumcised penis is the scar.

    There are now also studies directly linking circumcision and erectile impairment.

    And yet, doctors are not giving parents and patients this critical information.

    There is a complete lack of ethics in the medical industry, since they are unable to police themselves, infant circumcision should be banned, and any doctor who circumcises an adult without supplying this critical information should be sued.

  35. halj. says:

    Rob and chaud_froid , thanks for proving me right and how twisted you and your cause is. Attacking someone outside a hospital shows just how pathetic someone can be. And you two fit that bill to a “T”. I have started a blog, not about Intact America’s cause, but about how hateful their members are, and I am spreading the word and will do whatever I can to get it out.

  36. Rob~ says:

    @halj – Um, I’ve never even contemplated attacking someone outside a hospital, nor do I condone it, but again, you’re attacking the messenger and not the issue at hand. Have fun on your blog. I assume you’ll have plenty of stories about how all babies should be circumcised because you had one bad experience with Intact America. Great argument there.

    P.S. I’m curious how my refusal to allow someone to amputate my son’s foreskin proves how twisted our cause is. Please explain.

  37. latinalonestar says:

    What about the 14th amendment? Equal protection under the laws? Little girls are protected from even the most minor pin prick to their clitoral hood, meanwhile boys have a significant amount of erogenous, functional tissue removed from their penises routinely. The foreskin is not pathological and actually serves very important protective and sexual functions. As a mother of a healthy, happy intact son and a woman who has spent over 5 years studying in depth the structure of the foreskin, how it develops over childhood and what functions it serves both in childhood and adulthood, I can’t see any reason why anyone would want to or consider it ethical to provide genital reduction surgery on a non-consenting minor. I think this bill will tackle perhaps the most hypocritical and ignorant tradition in our nation today. This is the year 2011 and we are still strapping baby boys down to boards and cutting off parts of their genitals? I’m sorry but there is little excuse for such a hideous and unnecessary practice in our country today. Condoms prevent AIDs not circumcision. Just ask the over 500,000 American, circumcised men who have died of AIDs. Granting men the right to decide over their bodies, particularly their primary sex organ, is not only just but it is an endeavor that is worth every bit of our time and commitment. Bodily Integrity is a human right, it is time we start respecting that right!

  38. nhguy78 says:

    Every child becomes a sexually active adult one day. Shouldn’t the decision be left to the adult male whether to amputate body parts for personal choice? It is clear from medical evidence that circumcision is unnecessary. Since it is unnecessary, it is cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery ALWAYS requires the signature of the patient (and not parents, person with power of attorney).

    On a personal note, why do I (as an adult) have to suffer with the choices of my parents? Why haven’t I been allowed to choose my own destiny?

  39. Michael Warrior of Love says:

    This disgusting sex crime, human rights violation and sexual assault on helpless children should have been outlawed already six thousand years ago or whenever the first brain sick and cruel tyrant used this evil atrocity to mark people in the flesh and to make obedient slaves out of them!

    It’s about time that the government steps in to enforce our existing laws against child abuse, torture, mutilation and human vivisection. Circumcisers are breaking these above laws and with it they are breaking the laws of the American Constitution and the laws of the Geneva Convention.

    We will no longer let this happen unpunished. The world is changing rapidly, parents will be shocked when they wake up and realize what they have done to their children. Those people deceivers that preached and promoted this crime and those that actually did this sadistic and bloody cruelty shall be punished most severely as they are the ones most responsible those parents got blinded in the first place and that this disgusting child rape with a knife ever happened.

  40. Jenn_M says:

    I support this ban 100%.
    It is not about removing parental rights, it is about protecting personal rights. The rights of men to make their own choices about their genitals.
    There are MANY decisions we must make for our children. That is part of our responsibility as parents. However, this should NOT be one of them. Routine Infant Circumcision is a medically unnecessary COSMETIC surgery on an individual who is unable to consent. That makes it completely unethical and not a valid parental choice.
    (And I am talking only about routine circ, barring an actual medical need) There is NO reason that this type of procedure cannot be delayed until the age of consent of the individual owning the genitals.
    Up until 1997 in this country, female circ was legal. Now it is not. What is the difference? Why are our daughters protected by law, but not our sons? There should be no difference. Equal rights, equal protection. It has to start somewhere.

  41. Tridie says:

    From another very freedom conscious American,
    “I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in a world where those crazy crazy, crazy hippies (or those of us from Europe) got their way.
    Dames would be able to vote, Negros could be Free to sit in the front of the bus or complain that scarring on their backs are not OK, I couldn’t beat my youngins with a switch if they gave me sass that they would not work for me, shoot MY dawg and animals for fun or tell my wife to obey me and do her job and be my screwing doll. What kind of world would this be?
    why Government must interfere to protect and regulate all those fun things we used to do on the weak? because it wants to be a Government nanny?
    Why don’t they mind their OWN business?
    Terrible, evil hippies indeed.”

    And we, normal average folk from Europe (I am from Norway living in DC) are wondering what kind of snake oil medicine your doctors made you swallow -since Dr. Harvey Kelløgg who started this Jewish copycat- to make you sexually mutilate your children? Because YOUR doctors used to cut American girls too with parents consent until 1996

    What about the religious persecution of the U.S. against those whose Religion beliefs dictate that they circumcise their daughters?? Those people bring their daughters abroad to be circumcised. There are also people who believe in human sacrifice, but they are not allowed BY LAW to practice their beliefs because they law steps in when your beliefs IMPACT another human beings BODY. Whatever happened to the separation of Church from State and State’s duty to protect citizens from Church burnings, stonings, etc?

    I’ve read the law. It’s similar. With regard to genital cutting on a healthy female minor, no exception shall be given to the reasons given by the child’s parents. That’s what this proposal says for male MINORS.

    That law is constitutional, as this proposal would be. The First Amendment right perceived to be violated here is an individual right to freedom of (and from) religion. No one has the right to practice his or her religion on the body of a non-consenting person. As in the hoop-jumping example , permitting circumcision as a valid parental right requires an assumption that the child will want it. If he doesn’t, the argument falls apart. That’s true even if only one child would reject it.

    Think about it differently: do parents have the right to dictate the religion their child follows until the end of his life? If not, then the parental right to raise children in their religion is not absolute. Children must be free to reject their parents’ beliefs when they become independent. Circumcision is permanent and can’t be rejected once it’s imposed.

    Parental rights are not absolute. Children have a negative right to be free from harm that trumps the non-absolute parental right to raise children within a religion. Statutory rape laws protect children from harm. (Note: these laws are necessarily over-protective than under-protective. There is valid precedence for caution.) Child labor laws protect children from harm. Laws requiring parents to educate their children protects the children from harm.

    In the case of genital cutting, circumcision is objective harm. Cutting and removal of healthy tissue and nerve endings, risk of infection and further complications, and scarring are all forms of harm. Non-therapeutic genital cutting on a non-consenting individual may – should – be prohibited because it is harm. Gender is irrelevant if equal protection laws are to mean anything. All men are created equal, except for the healthy genitals of male minors at his parents’ discretion? Nonsense. All individuals have the right to be free from harm to which they do not consent, even if their lack of consent is only because they can’t yet say “I want to be circumcised.” To assume they would want to be circumcised because a majority would is merely reaching for the desired conclusion by omitting what is detrimental to one’s argument.
    This legislation finally looks beyond Bronze Age texts which are in, and of themselves an encyclopedia of torture. We hardly look to the church for any moral paradigm, esp since their record across time is abysmal.

    What a lot of people here don’t realize about this topic is that it is NOT The Government trying to force anything….the PEOPLE of San Francisco put this on the ballot.
    Is it a Democracy to say what you want in your country and what you don’t that harms some individuals as the minors here to be protected? If their parents want to insist on their wish when he is 18, good luck with them.

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