San Francisco is in the news again. Last week, it was the kids' meal toy ban and this week it is about banning circumcision.
The San Francisco Examiner states Lloyd Schofield is proposing a ballot measure to ban circumcision in the city of San Francisco. But to actually get the measure on the November 2011 ballot, Schofield will have to collect 7,168 signatures by April 26, 2011.
However, if the measure passes in November 2011, the measure would change San Francisco's police code to make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18. The punishment for those who choose to cut away anyway would be up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
Schofield told KCBS-TV news, "It is genital mutilation. It's a man's body and his body doesn't belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It's his decision." Also Schofield said, ʺa man should decide whether or not he wants to be circumcised and that the decision should not be made by anyone else.ʺ
According to the New York Times, the circumcision rate for newborn boys in the United States has dropped steadily over the last four years. Based on the largest review of U.S. rates ever completed, the CDC reported only 32 percent of boys underwent circumcision in 2009, down from 56 percent in 2006.
Some supporters of male circumcision say it leads to better hygiene and some say circumcised penises reduce the spread of H.I.V. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not come out for or against the practice. Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control are still studying whether circumcisions are a healthier choice and have promised recommendations to the public.
ʺMost medical groups have not come out with strong opinions regarding pro or con circumcisions, ʺ said CBS 5 medical reporter Dr. Kim Mulvihill. ʺMost are saying leave it up to the families, let them decide what’s right for their son.ʺ
ʺYou shouldn’t be performing cosmetic surgery for other people,ʺ said Schofield. Also, Schofield points out that female circumcision is currently banned but was once covered by Blue Cross insurance in the United States into the 1970s.
ʺTattooing a child is banned as a felony and circumcision is more harmful than a tattoo, ʺ said Schofield, who believes religious traditions should change. ʺPeople can practice whatever religion they want but your religious practice ends with someone else’s body.ʺ
How do you feel about circumcision? Is it genital mutilation? Also, how do you feel about the government telling you if you can or can’t circumcise your son?