Santa Monica Latest City to Fight to Get Circumcision Ban on Ballot

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circumcision ban

Credit: Francisco Seco, AP

Those San Franciscans may not be the only ones voting on whether or not to make circumcision illegal for minors.

The New York Times reports "intactivists" are fighting for a similar ballot issue in Santa Monica, arguing that the procedure is "male genital mutilation."

"This is the furthest we've gotten, and it is a huge step for us," Matthew Hess, who wrote both bills, tells the newspaper, adding that folks in other cities have been calling for help, as well. "This is a conversation we are long overdue to have in this country. The end goal for us is making cutting boys' foreskin a federal crime."

The ballot measures are of concern to Jewish groups, according to The Times, as circumcision is a requirement of Jewish law.

"People are shocked that it has reached this level because there has never been this kind of a direct assault on a Jewish practice here," Marc Stern, associate general counsel for the American Jewish Committee, tells the newspaper. "This is something that American Jews have always taken for granted -- that something that was so contested elsewhere but here, we're safe and we're secure."

Jena Troutman, however, a mom of two boys who is promoting the Santa Monica measure and runs the website wholebabyrevolution.com, tells The Times it's not about religion.

"I am just a mom trying to save the little babies," she tells the newspaper. "I'd rather be on the beach, but nobody is talking about this, so I have to."

Circumcision procedures have been dropping in the United States, The Times reports, with 30 to 50 percent of infant males getting snipped.

Family physician Dr. David Baron tells the newspaper trying to ban circumcision is "ridiculous and dishonest."

"To say it is mutilation is wrong from the get-go," Baron tells The Times. "It is a perfectly valid decision to say that it is not what you want for your child. Any doctor who says it is needed is not being honest, but to say that it needs to be banned is shocking."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.