A German court ruling stating that ”circumcision of young boys represents grievous bodily harm,” is causing worldwide controversy.
“A court in Cologne, Germany, recently ruled that parents could not have boys circumcised unless there is an urgent medical need,” reported the New York Times, who has has opened a debate section for discussion on the issue.
Five contributors, including John Geisheker of Doctors Opposing Circumcision, have shared their thoughts about whether or not jurisdictions around the world should follow Germany’s example and require that boys not be ritually circumcised until they are able to consent as adults.
The recent court decision in Cologne that found ritual, medically unnecessary male circumcision to be a violation of the child’s rights should not surprise scholars of American constitutional law. Two landmark cases have long held that U.S. law protects religious belief, but will not condone potentially harmful religious practice.
Male circumcision has escaped legal scrutiny in Anglo-American law simply because the child lacks an effective champion. American law is awaiting a chance to defend male children from unnecessary genital cutting — as it has already protected females.
You can read more about the ruling, and the corresponding debate, in the New York Times section “An Age of Consent for Circumcision?”
For information and resources on circumcision check out our circumcision articles, take part in the ongoing discussion of this issue in the Mothering community, ask your circumcision questions in our forum dedicated to the subject or get advice from our circumcision expert, Marilyn Milos, director of NOCIRC.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.