Thursday, 14 June 2012

Coalition MP calls for ban on male circumcision

A junior member of the the coalition government has called for male circumcision to be banned according to a report in Business Insider.


Unfortunately for campaigners against Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK, it is a Norwegian MP calling for the ban, but the news does demonstrate how the international movement to give boys and girls equal protection in law is gaining momentum.  


In an interview with Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet published today, a representative of Norway's Center Party has argued that circumcising a newborn boy for religious reasons should be made illegal.
Citing how circumcising a girl is already prohibited, justice policy spokeswoman Jenny Klinge (pictured) and the Center Party — a junior member in Norway's coalition government — reportedly believe it is time to extend this law to include males.
“In my view, this is a custom that we cannot accept in a modern, civilized society. Our aim is to prioritize the rights of small children. Fortunately, it has become forbidden to circumcise girls, now it’s time for boys to get the same legal protection,” Klinge told newspaper Dagbladet.
Although the Centre Party itself a junior partner in Norway’s Red-Green coalition government, the politician also criticized the government’s decision to consult experts on the possibility of introducing circumcision into the public healthcare system, a move she fears would legitimize the practice.
She stressed that she was not opposed to circumcision in cases where it was deemed a medical necessity.
“But circumcision based on ritual and religion is actually about holding down a newborn baby boy and cutting off part of a healthy sexual organ, with all the consequences that this might have for an individual’s future health and sex life,” said Klinge.
With this in mind, performing a circumcision on religious grounds ought to be made a criminal offence, she added.
Jan Helge Solbakk, a professor of medical ethics at Oslo University, agreed with Klinge’s criticism of the practice according to a The Local (Norway's News in English) saying:
“It represents an irreversible operation on a boy who is not in a position to protect himself, and as such is in breach of basic human rights,” he told Dagbladet.

Those wanting to see the practice of Unnecessary Male Circumcision banned in the UK are invited to click here and sign our online petition today

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful. Much admiration for this young MP.

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  2. I contacted the British MP for Equal Opportunity, Lynne Featherstone, and asked why male children don't get the same protection against genital mutilation as female children. She chickened out, passed my letter to the Dept of Health, and I got a reply from a MUSLIM spokesman. Since then I discovered that Ms Featherstone is Jewish! As Ed Milliband is also Jewish, I don't think there will be a change in the law any time soon.

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  3. It is a pity she focuses on religious circumcision and calls for a ban. She could have defused a lot of criticism - as they could in San Francisco - by calling for an age restriction on non-therapeutic circumcision.

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  4. Thanks everyone for comments

    On calling for a ban on 'relgious' circumcisions vs non-therapeutic - maybe the distinction is made as Norway doesn't has a history of non-therapeutic, non-religious circumcision so it's not on their radar?

    In my experience attempts to avoid dealing with key hurdles (eg overcoming religious objections) don't work- we have to address all the key factors keeping the practice in place if we are to change the law

    In San Francisco, for example, trying to presenting the matter as a non-religious issues didn't stop the debate becoming about religion with critics accusing backers of the referendum of bigotry and insisting a ban would violate the First Amendment's religious freedoms.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2077240,00.html#ixzz1y2H1EXiz

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