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On Parenting
Posted at 03:12 PM ET, 05/23/2011

Circumcision, the cut that divides

Circumcision. There, I’ve said it.

I’d like to leave it at that and move to our next topic. However, thanks to San Francisco and the ballot measure that was just certified for the November election, it’s on the public docket. 

 “If the measure passes, circumcision would be prohibited among males under the age of 18. The practice would become a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions,” read the wonderfully dry Associated Press story.

 Supporters of the ban, like Intact America, which took out an advertisement in The Post this month, call circumcision, or the removal of all or part of the foreskin, a brutal practice and a violation of human rights.

Thems fighting words. More than half of newborn males in this country are circumcised. Jews trace circumcision back to Abraham; many others consider it a cultural norm with medical benefits.  

For now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is staying out of it.

The current policy reads: “Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child’s current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child.”

 The AAP policy is under review in light of research that has found circumcision as potentially helpful in reducing the risk of HIV infection

Okay, your turn.

Take our poll or add your thoughts to the comments section. There are so many issues to consider: Is this a public or private matter? Should it be legal? Have you had this debate in your own home?

By  |  03:12 PM ET, 05/23/2011

 
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