Time appears to have run out for the proponents of a San Francisco ballot measure that would have banned circumcision of any boy under 18 in the city.
There is nothing esthetically appealing about a Brit Milah, the circumcision procedure performed on an 8 day old Jewish baby boy. To witness a barely one week old child strapped down with Velcro to a “Circ Board” in sight of everyone gathered is visually unappealing, if not spiritually uninspiring. If that were not enough, some officiants still engage in Metzitzah—the oral suction of blood from the circumcision. If not done by mouth directly, a pipette is used.
According to the proponent of a ballot initiative to prohibit the act of surgically removing a male baby’s foreskin, the term “circumcision” is nothing but a euphemism. “Having your foreskin amputated is probably more like it,” said Jena Troutman, a doula and mother of two sons, who initiated the process of petitioning Santa Monica to include the initiative on a future ballot.
San Francisco’s Catholic archbishop expressed his opposition to a city ballot initiative that would ban circumcision for minors. Archbishop George Niederauer condemned the initiative in a May 23 letter sent to the San Francisco Chronicle, his archdiocese’s newspaper reported.
The attempt to make circumcision illegal, including those performed for religious reasons, is spreading beyond San Francisco, which aimed last week to become the first American municipality to ban the practice. Now, residents of Santa Monica have filed a petition indicating that they, too, intend to get a similar measure on the November ballot for their city. While these are the two most aggressive attempts to curtail the practice of circumcision, they represent an increasing trend away from the practice, or at least away from the presumption of its necessity.