San Francisco to ban circumcision?

Becky - posted on 11/12/2010 ( 189 moms have responded )

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Wow, San Fran is on a roll with the banning!

http://www.care2.com/causes/health-polic...

A few weeks ago San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted to ban toy giveaways in meals that don't meet certain nutritional standards, like McDonald's Happy Meals. Now that same city may be getting ready to vote on another contentious issue relating to children's health: Circumcision.

If Lloyd Schofield is successful, a circumcision ban could end up on the ballot next November. Schofield, who argues that it is genital mutilation, would like to make it illegal to "circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate" the genitals of anyone under the age of 18. While some parents are outraged at the proposition, claiming that it is a personal choice, Schofield contends that it is a personal choice -- the personal choice of the person whose body it is. Schofield needs 7,100 signatures in order to get his proposal on the ballot next November.

Some people choose to circumcise their boys for societal reasons (e.g. "everyone does it" or "I don't want him to look different from his dad") and others do it for traditional or religious reasons. However, in a lot of areas the tide seems to be turning on circumcision with more parents considering the potential negative effects of circumcision on newborn boys and some medical authorities stating that there are no health benefits to circumcision. While there has been some discussion about the potential for circumcision to lower the incidence of female to male HIV transmission, experts are divided on this, some maintaining that condoms offer the only real protection.

The question is, if San Francisco is successful in putting this ban in place, will other locations follow suit or will parents in San Francisco simply take their newborn boys elsewhere to be circumcised?
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What do you think?
We chose not to circumcise, so a ban like this wouldn't affect us personally, but I still think it maybe goes too far. For one, an accross the board ban would interfere with freedom of religion for those who do it for religious reasons. I'd rather see more education and maybe make circumcision harder to access. In Calgary, there are only a few drs who circumcise, and that was a big part of the reason we ended up not getting it done with our first. Because I wasn't as informed as I should have been, had it been offered in the hospital, we probably would have gotten it done.

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Kate CP - posted on 11/13/2010

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I used to ride the fence on circumcision until I found out I'm pregnant with a boy. I always thought "We'll just get him circumcised like his daddy and he'll be fine." Then I started thinking about it...
You're causing an open wound in a diaper filled with urine and feces. You're taking away the body's natural protection AGAINST infection (the foreskin covers the urethra EXCEPT when it is opened during urination). You're adding to the work load of changing diapers by having to make sure that the wound is clean and not bleeding or inflamed. And it DOES hurt. There's no way that the anesthetic lasts the entire length of time it takes for the wound to heal. So that entire time that thing is open and healing it's rubbing against the diaper or gauze pad you've wrapped it in and is getting soaked in urine and feces. THAT hurts! These are the reasons why I decided not to have my son circumcised when he's born...much to the dismay of my husband. It actually REALLY made him angry; angry enough that he wouldn't talk to me for a day. But I knew that for MY son and MY family it wasn't the right choice. I don't have a problem with circumcision but I don't really understand it for a newborn baby. Obviously as the child grows if something happens or he decides he wants the procedure done he can have it done. But restoring foreskin is a tricky process and doesn't always work. I think a lot of parents make the initial decision to have it done because they're first thought is "It's cleaner, it's healthier." But if you actually look into it...it's not. So then after they've had it done and it's too late to go back they get VERY defensive about it because it's the choice they made for their son and no body wants to think they made the wrong parenting choices. If it's already been done to your son there's obviously no going back and honestly, I don't think you should feel "guilty" about it. But, if you've never had a son or, like me, are about to have your first boy it's worth stopping and thinking about.

Ez - posted on 11/12/2010

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You fill out a form, the ob/gyn tells you about the risks, benefits, etc and gives you some reading material...then you go to the desk to pay :) And snip snip.....



I'm sorry Hannah, but that just made me gag. And this is the biggest problem with routine circ. People think it's not a big deal. It is more than a 'snip snip'. It is nothing to add a smiley for. To be so blase about inflicting an unnecessary medical procedure on a minor is unbelievable to me :(

Kate CP - posted on 11/13/2010

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Because that study was flawed. Of the men who participated in that study those who were circumcised were more likely to receive sexual education and use condoms. In that study they didn't take into consideration that the US has one of the highest AIDS/HIV infection rates AND circumcision rates.

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2010

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genital integrity should be a birthright regardless of gender. this is a decision that does not belong to the parents, as it is not the parents that have to live with the decision. his penis, his choice.

Charlie - posted on 11/13/2010

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Any one over the adult age to make the decision to go under ANY comsetic surgery such as circumcision , labiaplasty , breast enhancment or rhinoplasty should be able to do so BUT only as an informed adult with consent over their own body .

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[deleted account]

Ya, I figured it out but when I changed it on CoMs, I couldn't edit the thumbnail so it was only showing my dog's rearend. LMAO! I'm just going to stick with my Facebook pic -- at least you can edit the thumbnail and make the picture centered.

Thanks

Minnie - posted on 11/15/2010

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How wonderful, Dana! Sometimes I get so discouraged trying to get the facts across to people and get them to truly think and reconsider. It is really encouraging to know that at least ONE baby will be left whole as he (or she!) was created.

[deleted account]

Oh, and P.S. -- it's stupid that you can't edit the thumbnail picture on CoMs like you can on Facebook. I'm gonna stick with my Facebook pic.

[deleted account]

Ok, well my stance against routine circumcision is new. I pierced Roxanne ears when she was 10 months and while I don't regret it, I wouldn't choose to do it again. Until I joined CoMs, I never really thought about it as a human rights issue. In my family, it was a tradition -- I had mine done at a young age, my mom did and so forth...

Anyhow, rest assured, I won't be piercing, puncturing, or removing anything from my next child's body. I'm singin a different tune these days. You wonderful ladies have enlightened me.

Minnie - posted on 11/15/2010

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Well, for me personally it is consistency. I don't believe I could provide a credible stance against routine circumcision and pierce my girls' ears without their consent. Bodily integrity for all.



But I do see a difference- circumcision permanently disfigures a body part- it is the removal of a healthy functioning organ, whereas piercing does not remove an organ.



I do secretly wonder though, what those who circumcise because 'everyone does it' or because 'it looks better' would think of a parent choosing to pierce a baby's FORESKIN....

[deleted account]

Hmmm, Roxanne has pierced ears. I think she looks adorable and they're proportionate to her face. I understand why some of you disagree with it and I think a lot of babies look stupid with them done, and perhaps I'm WAY bias BUT....hers really do suit her. They're teeny tiny lil' diamonds.

Johnny - posted on 11/14/2010

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I'm just perplexed why people are so enthusiastic about cutting skin of penises? I understand that like most cultural norms, we don't really think about it when we do it, but why are people so passionate about doing it after they think about it? I used to just assume we'd circumcise if we had a boy, until someone talked to me about it and told me more of the details. Then I didn't think there was much point. Yeah, they don't maybe "need" that skin, but perhaps it is actually there for a reason. Why not err on the side of not possibly inflicting pain and not possibly lessening sensation later? There is a small chance that for physical reasons it might need to be done later, but that is fairly uncommon.

It kind of reminds me of how here, until the late 1960's, everyone had their tonsils taken out. You'd be hard pressed to find someone over age 50 with their tonsils. But in the early 70's, increasing research suggested that it might not be the best option, and by the time I had recurrent tonsillitis in the early 80's, they were only performing the surgery for medical serious necessity.

[deleted account]

In San Fran (CA) it is already illegal to talk on the phone without a hands free device while driving, text while driving, AND surf the internet on your phone while driving... Yes, we in CA have to actually deal with people who did (and still do, since no one obeys the law and no one enforces it...) do all these on a regular basis... ::sigh::

[deleted account]

We already have the no mobile phone law whilst driving...someone even got done for eating an apple and another putting make-up on whilst driving lmao!

Kate CP - posted on 11/14/2010

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I would be cool with no texting while driving. It drives me frickin' INSANE when I see some one just driving down the road texting. *growls*

Bonnie - posted on 11/14/2010

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Using a mobile while driving is not allowed where I am in Canada. Can't remember if it's only certain parts of Canada though.

I'm also for not piercing babies ears.

[deleted account]

We should take bets =] Hmm I think...using a mobile whislt driving...if that's not a law already...it is here in the UK.

And I don't really like piercing babies ears like!

Jane - posted on 11/14/2010

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If San Francisco keeps this up, they won't have anyone living there any longer.

[deleted account]

Circumcision (AKA male genital mutilation) isn't illegal in Australia, but not many doctors will do it. Parents rarely get their boys circumcised.

Kate CP - posted on 11/14/2010

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This is reminding me of the other thread about going nude in front of your kids...

"You lost your peepee?! Don't worry, I'll help you find it!" *cackles*

LaCi - posted on 11/14/2010

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If we cut off the penis altogether there's significantly less risk of ANY future STI. We don't need a penis to procreate anyway. So who cares? :D



Lets make america a penis free zone.



BAN THE PENIS.

Charlie - posted on 11/14/2010

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Newborn babies dont have a sex life or need condoms ......just sayin .

Dana - posted on 11/14/2010

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So we're back at my point that it's a moot argument when kids don't use condoms most of the time. Again, I'm not saying cut off the foreskin to prevent it but, I'm also saying that telling people to just use condoms doesn't really work either.

[deleted account]

I don't think it's a "moot" point at all. The main reason people give for circumcising is infections including HIV, of which HIV can be prevented by using condoms. Fair enough UITs can happen to anyone and a condom doesn't stop those.

Dana - posted on 11/14/2010

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Jennifer, I'm not saying that because kids don't use condoms then you should remove the foreskin. I just see the point of bringing up condoms to be a moot point.

Rosie - posted on 11/14/2010

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i'm sorry jennifer, i didn't mean to be so snarky with that last statement. your statement just got to me a little.i should've put that a different way.

[deleted account]

Kati whatever you choose to do is your choice. My view is so different because circumcision isn't socially accepted here, it isn't seen as necessary. I hope no ones son ever contracts HIV nevermind my own but IMO circumcision alone does not rule out contracting HIV and the actual chance of getting it isn't much lower but regardless of that people will do and should have the choice to do what they like.

Rosie - posted on 11/14/2010

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i feel it is, so why should that right be taken away from me?
and also, too bad for them i guess then huh? hope your son never acquires HIV.

[deleted account]

Dana: Yes some kids don't want to use condoms but at the end of the day if they feel they are old enough to sex then they should be old enough to deal with the possible consequence of stds after having sex. The point that some won't use them IMO is not a good enough reason to remove a part of the male genitalia which is there for a reason.

Rosie - posted on 11/14/2010

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ok, gonna respond to a couple of you lovely ladies, so sorry if i confuse, i often do that, lol!

ok, laura ?....i'm not arguing the history of the origins of circumcision. i simply stated that's not why it's done now, and there is NO scientific evidence that actual medical doctors agree on that states that it decreases sensitivity. there is no proof. plain and simple. and i love you too, lol!!! ♥

kate...i actually agree that that may be the case. but those particular studies were enough to change the WHO and UNAIDS stance on circumcision. it makes sense to me after the reasoning is explained why the foreskin harbors the virus (and other STD'S). do i think people should only circ and not use condoms? of course not, that is fucking ridiculous!!! but the sad fact is that the people with HIV in this country engage in risky behavior with sex, which includes sex without a condom. so if circumcision would help, i dont see why it shouldn't be considered.

dana :)....the WHO and UNAIDS didn't recommend this before i had any of my 3 boys. so it didn't make a bit of difference to me, they changed their stance in 2007 after i had lucas. i will admit that the reason i had grant (my eldest) done was just purely for societal norm. the other 2 i did a bit of research and decided WITH my husband what we wanted for our boys. it just makes complete sense to us. the procedure is minor, none of my boys were crying when they were brought back to me, they were healed within a week, and didn't act like it bothered them at all. they balked more with their vaccinations. in the MAJORITY of children have no side effects, the ones that do get side effects, most of the time is MINOR bleeding. ii'm not sayking there aren't risks, cause there are. but each PARENT not the government needs to decide if the risk outweighs the benefit for their child. obviously in my case i definitely believe is does. :)

Dana - posted on 11/14/2010

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I think everyone knows that condoms are best at preventing STD's but, tell that to the kids who don't want to use them.

[deleted account]

And at the end of the day using condoms prevents STDs including aids NOT circumcision, so instead of normalising circumcision perhaps increasing education on using condoms would be better served.

Mrs. - posted on 11/14/2010

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Yeah, don't worry about it. I had regular sex with more than one dude who wasn't circ'd and they weren't/didn't seem any more sensitive to sex/stimulation than the ones that are. If anything, for some reason, the guys who weren't were always trying to assert they didn't like condoms...which is weird cause I've never had a prob with the circ'd ones. I thought you were supposed to be more sensitive, wouldn't the condom be like nothing if you have more nerve endings? Maybe it was a cultural thing, most of the guys uncut guys were Latin or European.

I broke the news to my fiance last night that he should be mourning for his foreskin and that he doesn't enjoy sex as much as he rightfully should. He comforted me, can you believe that! He said that, if he was anymore sensitive it would be a hard, since sex would be a very short affair and he'd, of course, spend all his time masturbating (you know for like 5 seconds a go).

Come on ladies, whatever side of the debate you're on...you gotta see that whole mourning after its done as a grown man a bit silly? Go ahead and educate, take a stand against it being done to others if you like but wasting time whinging about a piece of skin you lost in the first year of you life when you are a grown man...come on!

Is this one of those deals where because you're have agreed with a liberal principle you have to blanketly believe in everything the liberal (or conservative) ideology or else you're kicked out of the club or something?

I mean I can see how some people believe it's not for them or their family but I can't see how anyone would not think grown men crying over foreskin is not just a little silly?

It's like I'm a liberal, my family is but I don't let it cloud me if something in that agenda is ridiculous. I'll point it out and sometimes get flak for it. Is this about not looking bad in front of people who'll only support your argument if you totally agree with them?

Come on, admit it, it's a little silly...you know you want to...

Hey, I'll admit that I believe in capital punishment but in most everything else I'm a die hard Democrat. Or that I think Joe Biden is a bit stiff.

Anyone else wanna budge?

Dana - posted on 11/14/2010

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Laura, I'm the same way, I don't get worked up by people doing it or not doing it. I just like to throw my two cents in when I see inaccuracies or speculation told as fact. Which you pretty much find on both sides of this debate. ;)

Isobel - posted on 11/14/2010

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yeah, I don't get worked up about other people doing it, I just gotta throw my two cents in because it IS a debate

[deleted account]

And your son will never know the difference. He won't have anything to compare it to! Try not to sweat it. The intactivists are only trying to spread awareness and proper information -- they're not trying to scare people or shame them.

Kate CP - posted on 11/14/2010

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Most men are just happy (read: dumb founded) to be having sex and really could care less at the time if there could be MORE sensation.

Like I said earlier, if you've already had it done it's nothing to feel shame or guilt over. You did what you felt was best for your son. *shrug* Nothing wrong with that.

Dana - posted on 11/14/2010

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Joy, I assure you, your son will be fine. Look at the MILLIONS of men who are circumcised who enjoy sex. When a man's mind is being blown away, he's not thinking...hm, this could (possibly?) be better.

[deleted account]

I never knew that the foreskin had so much to do with sexual satisfaction for a man. Now you guys have me freaking out that I've ruined sex to a certain extent for my son.

C. - posted on 11/14/2010

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This is insanity. People are really crossing the line nowadays. I mean really, come on! PARENTS should decide whether or not their son gets circumcised, NOT the Board of Supervisors! Next they're going to try and ban parents from deciding on what car seat to buy b/c 'The baby should be able to choose what's more comfortable b/c it's THEIR body that sits in it..' (That was a joke, btw.. But may as well hold some truth in it the way people are trying to ban EVERYTHING anymore..)

JuLeah - posted on 11/13/2010

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In some countries they circumcise girls. Most of us would like to see a ban on that. We are not used to the idea; it freaks me out actually.
We are used to males being circumcised, we grew up with the idea, but for those that didn't the idea freaks them out.
I don't support this or believe circumcision is a good plan. I'd not opt to do this with a child of mine any more then I'd get the baby a nose job.

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