Circumcision could be outlawed in San Francisco if a November ballot initiative is passed. The ballot plans to ban the practice for anyone aged under 18, and would make the circumcision of a male minor a misdemeanor, punishable with a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000.
Some say it is a form of mutilation and others say it is a healthy practice, but most acknowledge that it is done for medical purposes and religious reasons.
Circumcision is the practice of removing the foreskin from the male penis. It is usually a Jewish rite.
Some experts say that it could help prevent HIV, penile cancer and urinary tract infections.
There is evidence that seems to indicate that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually-acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60 percent, a report by the World Health Organization states.
Three randomized controlled trials have shown that male circumcision provided by well-trained health professionals in properly equipped settings is safe.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says, “Lack of male circumcision has also been associated with sexually transmitted genital ulcer disease and Chlamydia, infant urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and cervical cancer in female partners of uncircumcised men.”
Circumcision has been in the media spotlight recently when Hollywood star Russell Crowe used his Twitter account to explain how he believes God made all babies perfect, and that he believes circumcision to be “barbaric and stupid,” as reported previously in the Christian Post.
Just over 65 percent of American newborn males are circumcised each year in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. It is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States.