New drive to ban circumcision in Germany

By Toby Axelrod, November 22, 2012
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The saga of Germany’s efforts to regulate ritual circumcision of boys continues with a new proposal by liberal and left-leaning legislators that would bar the procedure for those under the age of 14.

Some 50 members of parliament, from the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Greens, signed a proposal last week which they hope will edge out the bill currently awaiting parliamentary approval.

The original bill, submitted last month, was designed to allow Jewish and Muslim parents to choose ritual circumcision for an infant son under strict regulations, including medical training for the practitioner, parental approval and the use of anaesthetic.

According to German press reports, last week’s alternative proposal would prohibit the non-medical circumcision of infants and would require that the procedure be carried out by a trained urologist or paediatric surgeon. In addition, the proposal said the child should be able to decide for himself whether or not to go through with the procedure.

The current campaign was triggered in May when a Cologne District Court ruled that the procedure was a criminal assault when performed on a minor for no medical reason.

Last updated: 8:45pm, November 22 2012