Danes seek to limit male circumcision to those 18 and over
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A Danish group says petition seeking to set a minimum age of 18 for non-medical male circumcision in the country has gathered the required 50,000 signatures to send the proposal to Parliament for debate later this year.
Lena Nyhus of the group Intact Denmark told The Associated Press on Saturday that her children’s welfare organization believes “we need to respect a person’s right to decide for themselves” on a possible circumcision when they become an adult.
The ritual of removing an infant boy’s foreskin is common among Jews and Muslims for religious reasons.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says the health benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks but not by enough to recommend universal male circumcision. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors should educate infant boys’ parents about the health benefits of circumcision, which it says reduces the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
A recent poll commissioned by Danish TV2 broadcaster found that 83 percent of respondents supported such an age limit on circumcising boys.
However, the proposal is unlikely to pass since none of Denmark’s main political parties support it.
Earlier this year, Icelandic lawmakers initially backed a plan to ban circumcisions for minors and to give those who performed the procedure possible jail sentences. But after an outpouring of criticism, including from European Jewish leaders, the proposal was dropped.