Norway appears to be on the way to protect circumcision for Jews and Muslims so long as they are performed in hospitals.

The Conservative-Progress government is considering suggesting regulations to control circumcisions but with taking into account religious freedom, the Norwegian Foreigner newspaper reported Monday.

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A Conservative leader of the committee on health care said that a complete ban on hospital circumcisions “will only lead to this being carried out by non-professionals” with possible risks.

The government’s stand opposes a recommendation by Norway’s Medical Association and the Children’s Ombudsman to ban circumcisions before the age of 16.

Legislators from the opposition Labor and center parties also oppose circumcisions, but Socialist Left Party leader Audun Lysbakken told the newspaper that offering circumcision within the healthcare system “will be the safest solution for the children. He added that religious freedom must be taken account “since a ban would be perceived as a very negative signal among both Jews and Muslims.”

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Is forcing Jews to take their infant boys into hospitals full of sick people really the "safest" option for a brit milah? Just how many Jewish boys have suffered serious ill effects necessitating this legislation?

  2. The brit milah is a celebration that is performed in a home or synagogue. It is incongruous for this joyous occasion to be held in a hospital setting. And most hospital operating rooms would not be able to accommodate all of the family and friends who attend to celebrate the simcha.

  3. So will they also offer sunat (female circumcision) at hospitals for Muslims and ethnic immigrants who request it? Or will they allow this to be carried out by non-professionals with the possible risks that we all are so aware of?

  4. I have seen a number of babies with pierced ears and nobody complains about that. Further more, in many countries teenagers can get abortions without parental consent or knowledge. And homosexuals can have women artificially inseminated like cattle, to produce a designer baby. In many cases one parent is an anonymous donor.

  5. Valeria Barnes I've had my boys circumcised and they're very happy. Indeed, I doubt very much that they'll end up spending adulthood dosing up cats with drugs and getting bloated on nutburgers. And I will do my utmost to ensure that they will have the critical faculties necessary not to conflate genital mutilation (as perpetrated against women in various cultures) with a divinely mandated procedure. Now, run along back to your animals and leave human issues to those of us who care.

  6. That's silly. Nothing is sacrificed. The foreskin is removed, that's all. Despite the claims of circumcision opponents, a circumcised p*nis functions just as well as an uncircumcised p*nis. And the medical evidence shows that having been circumcised as an infant does not adversely affect a man's sexual pleasure.

  7. Valeria Barnes A sacrifice of your son is what Abraham almost did with Isaac. Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin, nothing more. Surveys of women who have had experience with both circumcised and uncircumcised men do not support your assertion that circumcision adversely affects the sexual pleasure of a man's partner. Some women prefer uncircumcised men, others prefer circumcised men, and still others don't have a preference.

  8. Why is cutting being "carried out by non-professionals" never sufficient grounds to leave forced genital cutting legal for females?

    The "safest solution for the children" will always be zero tolerance for forced genital cutting.

    Circumcision alters sex dramatically. Only the owner of the genitals has ethical standing to allow cosmetic reduction surgery.

  9. Andrew,
    “WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA Joint Statement classified female genital mutilation into four types. Complete typology with sub-divisions: ……
    Type Ia, removal of the clitoral hood or prepuce only;”

    Are you in favor of Type1a circumcision of girls if done for religious reasons? It is the exact parallel procedure as for boys.

  10. Valeria Barnes For 4,000 years, Jewish men have been circumcised. It is none of your gentile business. How would know about what pleasure a Jewish man feels. Are you transexual? Who is paying you to read the JEWISH PRESS? Are you a KKK or a Nazi?

  11. Valeria Barnes Your first two links are to anti-circumcision websites which cannot be considered unbiased. The third study is not based on a scientific study. "Respondents were recruited by means of leaflets and advertising." Since the study was performed by a university in Belgium, presumably there are very few Belgian men who are circumcised, so the respondents would likely feel different from the Belgian "norm", which might affect their self-reported results. Moreover, the study doesn't indicate whether the men were circumcised as infants or adults, so we can't tell from the study the effect of infant circumcision on sexual performance or pleasure.

  12. ron shapiro Many circumcision opponents subscribe to news alerts so that they can rush to any article related to circumcision in order to dominate the comments and intimidate those who disagree with them. They post links to the articles on anti-circumcision blogs and Facebook pages in an attempt to drown out any dissenting voices.

  13. ron shapiro This 2003 paper in the Israeli Medical Association Journal discusses circumcision and cervical cancer at length and says the following:

    "Although the dispute over the association of circumcision and cervical cancer in various populations is still ongoing [23,24], there seems to be no hard evidence that circumcision prevents its occurrence in Jewish women, and it is no longer considered to play a protective role."
    http://www.ima.org.il/imaj/ar03feb-11.pdf

  14. I don't agree with piercing children's ears without their consent either, but it can't be compared to removing erogenous tissue from their genitals. I don't see a connectoin with teenage access to abortion or donor conception.

  15. I agree that making a law against bris wouldn't change the WAY it's done, because they are already done "underground" (not at a hospital). Going to the hospital hardly addresses the problem of the right to a healthy body. How many have suffered ill effects? Every one of them. The foreskin is a sexual organ. It has sexual as well as immunological and protective functions. The great Maimonides stated quite clearly that the dulling of sexuality was the goal of circumcision, just as doctors of the early 20th century did in America when circumcision was introduced. The point is that men, ALL men, Jew or not, deserve to have their healthy bodies protected, just like women. (there's no religious consideration for people who want to cut off their little GIRL's foreskins) If they want to cut parts off when they are old enough to understand the whole situation, and THEY decide to dedicate themselves to god in that way, more power to them.

  16. Duh,,,, that's the point Ron. This protection is needed for ALL people. In the civilized world, it has become recognized that religion is no excuse to alter a little girl's healthy genitals. Also, we are starting to recognize that men are actually equal to women, and deserve the same rights and protection. ALSO, Jews are equal to Muslim's in they too deserve the same rights and protection. EVERY person deserves the right to their healthy body.

  17. Andrew Gross By and large, only a man who is circumcised himself would have such a belittling attitude toward the human foreskin.

    There are large numbers of circumcised men (Jews included) who strongly oppose circumcision, and bitterly resent that this was done to them without their consent. Conversely, there are vanishingly few intact men who wish they had been cut as children or who would willing undergo this procedure as an adult.

    Does that tell us anything?

  18. ron shapiro "Valeria Barnes I hope the uncircumcised penises that give you pleasure, also give you cervical cancer."

    Andrew Gross is collecting "evidence" that "many intactivists" have "antireligious bias".

    Wonder where he puts a comment like this, in the "Jews hate foreskin and hope everyone with one gets cancer" bin?

    Ya gotta wonder.

    Let's not pretend that Jews nor Americans are in general "neutral" on foreskin. They do after all believe the uniquely American disease mythology surrounding it.

  19. "Is forcing Jews to take their infant boys into hospitals full of sick people really the "safest" option for a brit milah? Just how many Jewish boys have suffered serious ill effects necessitating this legislation? "

    I HAVE suffered ill effects from being circumcised.

    Plenty have. Do your research. Your ignorance is self serving and simply dishonest.

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