Banning Circumcision Won’t Change Reality for Children

The primary positive outcome I can envision for a ban on male circumcision is that Jews and Muslims would finally have a cause on which they could work together. If it starts with a piece of flesh, perhaps it will one day lead to peace.

That said, I personally oppose all medically unnecessary operations and circumcision is one such procedure. However small the risks, there are risks. I also personally oppose the use of illegal drugs (and oppose, even more strongly, the use of some legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol in excess). My preventive solution in all these cases is education rather than bans.

Alcohol prohibition was instituted in the United States in 1919, by passage of the Eighteenth Amendment. This violence-producing and unenforceable prohibition was wisely repealed in 1933 with passage of the Twenty-first Amendment. President Nixon in 1971 declared a War on Drugs, with the same problems as our war on alcohol. Unfortunately, this losing war continues even after 40 years of increased violence.

Does anyone doubt that a ban on circumcision would lead to more medical problems because the procedure would be performed underground by less qualified cutters? Circumcision, like clean needle exchanges for those injecting illegal drugs, is far less harmful than passing a law to ban it would be.

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