The Center Party’s circumcision ban proposal

lifted from aftenposten.no (apologies for translation, a 100% google translate job, no time to clean up)

The Center Party wants to prohibit male circumcision

It is a strong signal that Jews are unwanted in Norway, the leader of the Jewish Congregation says

Elisabeth Rodum, Jørgen Svarstad

It’s about young children’s rights. One should not cut into the healthy genitals of defenseless children, continues Klinge.-

Unnecessary suffering

Aftenposten.no has been in contact with two circumcised men who disagree about the public health service to provide ritual circumcision. None of them want to come forward with names.

– Circumcision is not a trivial procedure. It has a great influence on important matters of life and cause many a disorder that is completely pointless and unnecessary, according to one man (57), who was circumcised for medical reasons.

– Unless it is medically necessary, it is meaningless to circumcise little boys who can not choose. It is almost the worst possible place to cut. It is an abuse of small children. If you have respect for God’s creation, why should you put the knife in healthy people? says 57-year-old.

The 57-year-old, who is highly educated, married and have children, says he was bullied as a child and has experienced complications in adulthood because of the procedure. He says he was dismissed by claiming that “all Americans do it” when he tried to tell his parents that he felt different. In the U.S., the widespread, and many male children circumcised in the clinics shortly after birth.

– From my own experience there is no positive effects of this. On the contrary, he said.

– Not the way to go

Another circumcised men (53) was circumcised because his parents, who are professors, respectively, medicine and biology, in the 60’s believed that circumcision was beneficial.

He says he was four years old when the surgery happened and that he did not remember any of it:

– I have never since had any discomfort of any kind. It could have been comments in childhood, I was the only boy who was circumcised in my environment, but in this case, not something I remember as bullying, says the 53-year-old to Aftenposten.no.

He accepts the principle that circumcision may help to improve hygiene and prevent infection, and believe that there is such medical and hygienic points of view as the basis for the widespread circumcision has in the United States, but he also shares the objections:

– It is about dismemberment, although there is a small procedure, and in my opinion, it is something you should not do if there are medical reasons. I oppose any such surgery on healthy bodies, including those that are of cosmetic nature, he says.

But he understands that there may be cultural factors that indicate that one must accept the ritual circumcision, and have no faith in a law against this.

– A ban is not the way to go, it will only cause problems. The practice will continue, but in secret, and perhaps under the circumstances that put lives in danger, he said. The 53-year-old greets therefore welcome the new bill the government for hospitals to offer ritual circumcision.

Compared with the “Jewish paragraph”

The proposed ban angers Ervin Kohn, Chairman and Trustee of the Jewish community.

– It would be absolutely terrible, and we will be the first country in the world to do something like that. It’s like reintroducing § 2 of the Constitution of 1814, he said. The provision he refers to is the so-called “Jewish clause” that denied Jews access to the territory.

– It would serve as a very strong signal that the Jews are an unwanted minority in the country, he continued. He claims that 99 percent of all Jews in the world circumcise their male children.- It is the visible covenant between Abraham and God. It goes directly on religious freedom and that Norway is a tolerant society, says Kohn, who also points out that research has documented the health benefits of circumcision.

The Labor party has not decided yet

Labour Party health spokes person Thomas Breen said that the issue be discussed within the party, but they have not decided.- I think that most people do not like the practice of circumcision, but in contrast to genital mutilation of girls, this is something that is written about in most sacred books. There are probably many in the Labor Party who want a way to regulate it, so we have a culture change in Norway. But what we end at the end I do not know. A ban may sound tempting, but it is a challenge in relation to religion. There is no guarantee that a ban stands after a judicial review in the Court, he said.

In the case which has been circulated it has been suggested minimum age of 15 years. Personally I would like the ability to either prohibit or restrict the age, but the dilemmas are not mapped well enough, says Breen.- A ban on circumcision is a violation of religious freedom.

Jenny Klinge in Q, however, not buy the argument about religion.- Religious freedom to the individual shall be exalted, not to mention the respect for other people’s body.

Boys who are circumcised can never remove the marker religious circumcision means if they choose to convert to another religion or have a non-religious beliefs. I’m not buying the argument that banning circumcision is a violation of religious freedom, because such freedom must involve being able to choose for themselves, she said.

The proposal to change the rules circumcision, which was sent out for consultation last year, is proposed, however, not a general ban. There are two models outlined. Ombudsman wants and age limit. In both proposals will be legal that everyone who wishes to have the opportunity to have performed the ritual circumcision through the regional health authorities in a proper manner, and mainly in connection with childbirth.

In one model would allow non-physicians to perform the circumcision. In the second proposal, only physicians allowed to perform circumcision. Among those who have spoken out in favor of a ban is the  Humanist Association.

The Ombudsman believes that there should be a lower age limit:

“The Ombudsman’s view is that boys should not be circumcised before they even have the opportunity to give a real consent to the procedure. Instead of laws on which the Ombudsman believes is a violation of the child’s right to decide over their own bodies, should Health and Care Services set a minimum age for circumcision of boys, “said the consultation statement.