Outlawing the Prime Cut-California Tries to Ban Baby Circumcisions

It’s a question parents of baby boys have to decide but now there’s a discussion on Beacon Hill in San Francisco that would take that choice away from parents in California.

State lawmakers in California will debate a bill that would make it illegal for parents to circumcise boys, unless there’s a medical reason.  The bill, if passed, would ban the procedure on any male under the age of 18 even for religious reasons.  Under the legislation, people who disregard the ban would face a $1000 fine and possible 14-year prison sentence.  The proposal classifies male circumcision as genital mutilation and supporters of the bill say baby male infants can’t possible consent to the procedure.

Many Jewish groups are objecting to the fact that ritual circumcision of men under the age of 18 would be made illegal, despite the fact that it is, in the words of these San Francisco-area Jewish organizations, “of fundamental importance in the Jewish tradition.” Male circumcision is also an important practice in Islam, although it is not compulsory.

My opinion:  Male circumcision has actually been associated with some health benefits which includes reducing the risk of HIV acquisition by men during vaginal intercourse.  Secondly, there is a decrease in urinary tract infections in baby boys who are circumcised compared to baby boys who are not circumcised.  Also, the risk of penile cancer is less in circumcised boys compared to those who have retained their foreskins.  And finally, an ancient religious ritual for both Jewish and Muslim boys should not be criminalized by the government.  Don’t we have bigger problems in America than trying to police doctors and mohels (Jewish ritual circumcisers) who perform circumcisions?  I truly believe that after we balance the budget we might discuss the decision of parents to allow their baby boys to be circumcised!

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