Circumcision Ban Won't Appear on Santa Monica Ballot

The measure remains on the November ballot in San Francisco

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011  |  Updated 11:26 AM PDT
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Circumcision Ban Won't Appear on Santa Monica Ballot

The common practice of circumcision would become a crime if ballot measure passes in San Francisco.

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A measure to ban circumcision won't be on the ballot in Santa Monica.

Jena Troutman told The Jewish Journal she was abandoning the effort before any signatures were gathered because of the news media's misrepresentation of her attempt as an attack on religious freedom.

"It shouldn't be about religion in the first place,'' Troutman, a  lactation consultant, told The Jewish Journal. "Ninety-five percent of people  aren't doing it for religious reasons and with everyone from The New York Times  to Glenn Beck focusing on the religious issue, it's closing Americans down to  the conversation.''

Troutman was referring to a Sunday article in the New York Times about efforts to ban circumcision in California.

The measure would have appeared on the November 2012 ballot.

The procedure, most often practiced on infants, involves strapping newborns to a board in a hospital for the surgical removal of the penis foreskin.

Troutman's decision to drop the measure came on the same day the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Board of Rabbis of Southern California,  Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee issued a statement about the measure before Troutman's decision was known. The statement expressed "great concern'' about the possible ballot measure.

"For many, male circumcision is a religious decision that is squarely  within the legal right of parents to make for their infant sons," the statement said. "For thousands of years, Jews around the world have engaged in  this important religious ritual. The covenant of circumcision is fundamental to  the practice of Judaism.

"The Jewish community is deeply troubled by this initiative, which  would interfere with the rights of parents to make religious decisions for  their own families. Historically, people of all religions, ethnicities and  cultural backgrounds sought a new life in the United States in pursuit of  religious liberty. Further, male circumcision is a widely accepted general  practice in this country and of key importance to multiple faiths."

A similar measure remains on San Francisco's November ballot. That proposition would make the circumcision of a boy under 18 a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000. If it passes, the measure is sure to face a court fight where the court would have to decide if circumcision Is harmful to underage patients who have no control over the matter.

PropZero: Circumcision: Mend It, Don't End It

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