Should the government be able to tell you whether or not you can circumcise your own baby? In November San Francisco will vote on a bill that would do just that, ban circumcision within the city.
The debate is mostly between the parents who believe that circumcision, which is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis, has health benefits, and those who think it is pointless and painful and another group who says it negatively affects sexual pleasure and performance and has unnecessary risks.
If the bill passes, performing a circumcision would become a misdemeanor offense in San Francisco if the procedure is preformed on a boy younger than 18, no matter what the parents' religious beliefs. Violation of this new law will carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
There have been studies for and against circumcision, and the American Academy of Pediatrics says that there is not enough evidence to say whether or not it should be done. The AAP did, however, say that it believed it was a matter best decided between parents and pediatricians.