San Francisco may let voters decide whether to ban the procedure that removes an infant boy’s foreskin, often before he leaves the hospital.
CBS News reports:
The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to perform circumcision on a male under the age of 18 within the city. Anyone who ignored the ban would face a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Supporter Leo Schofeld tells CBS:
Circumcision should be outlawed because “it’s excruciatingly painful and permanently damaging surgery that’s forced on men when they’re at their weakest and most vulnerable.”
This is easily one of the hottest button topics in Parentland. Perfectly sane parents will land on either side of this issue and start a bloody cage war that leaves everyone circumcised. I hate that. I have made my own thoughts clear on the subject here, and there is no need to elaborate. My opinion hasn’t changed. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I would not consent to having any boy child of mine circumcised.
It is not my place to make that decision for any other parent on the planet.
Is it the City of San Francisco’s place? This is where it gets complicated.
In my last post, Don’t Say Gay, I suggested decisions on how sex education is handled in schools should be made at the local level, by the school board, members of which are installed by voters. In San Francisco, city council members, installed by voters, may offer a proposal up on which citizens can vote. Majority rules, right?
Say every practicing Jewish person in San Francisco who believes the act of circumcision is part of a covenant with God votes against this proposal, but every other soul in San Fran votes in favor. It likely passes, and Jewish families would be criminalized and fined for having a ceremonial bris. I’ve seen no exception for religious ceremony. I can’t get behind that.
In my world, education trumps legislation almost every time, so if Mr. Schofeld opposes the procedure, he maybe oughta to lobby for education. Good information offered at prenatal classes would be a lovely first step, because it’s a fact that most Americans circumcise their boys without information or second thought. It’s just what’s done. Circumcision is a serious procedure with serious implications, and shouldn’t be performed carelessly.
However, if and when educated parents choose to circumcise, they should not be charged with a crime. They should be left alone, because their baby’s penis is none of your business.
There is much more on circumcision and most everything a parent-to-be needs to know about life with a newborn in this Pea in the Podcast: Caring for your Newborn.