Circumcision has been a hot topic for many years, with some saying it provides medical advantages and some saying it is an unnecessary procedure forced on young male children. Pro-foreskin forces in San Francisco have worked to collect signatures to have a possible ban brought before voters.
According to CBS News, their proposal would make it a misdemeanor, and anyone who chose to violate the ban could be slapped with a $1,000 fine and a year in jail. Legal experts say this possible ban on circumcisions would face a constitutional battle as it is a religious ritual for Muslims and Jews, and would challenge their religious freedom.
According to the American Academy of Pediatricians, as with any medical procedure, there are pros and cons. Circumcision has been shown to reduce bladder infections and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. On the downside, it is an extremely painful procedure and holds the risk of complications. Studies have shown that it can reduce a man’s sexual sensation. Rare complications can even lead to amputation of the penis.
In recent years, after the Academy said it was not a necessary procedure, there has been a steady decline in the number of newborns undergoing circumcisions. In 2006, 56% of newborns underwent the procedure, but in 2009 that number had dropped to 32.5%.
For the most part, the decision to have a male child circumcised has been left to the parents and their beliefs, and the advice of their pediatrician. The idea of making it an illegal act may be taking it a bit too far. Better education on the pros and cons to pregnant mothers might just be a better option. If it does become a law and a new mother allows for her newborn son to be circumcised, will San Francisco need to create a nursery-style jail to hold these mothers and newborns? Will pregnant mothers be taking the trip down to L.A. to deliver? What side of the circumcision debate do you sit on?