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California Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Pro-Circumcision Bill

A proposal declaring that male circumcision has many health and social benefits, and that local governments in California cannot prohibit or restrict its practice, is one step closer to becoming law. If it does, the measure will become the first of its kind in U.S. history to extol the advantages of male circumcision.
State Senate, Sacramento, California

(MIAMI, FLORIDA) — Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee in Sacramento, California voted unanimously to pass AB-768, which was co-authored by two democratic state legislators, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco. The bill is a response to the San Francisco ballot initiative that attempted to restrict the circumcision of male minors in that city to situations of medical necessity. This initiative was removed from the ballot in July by a court order on the grounds that California law prohibits local governments from regulating the medical arts profession.

AB-768 is now headed to the full state senate, where it could be considered as early as next week. It is being put forth as an “urgency bill,” necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety. As such, it would take effect immediately upon being signed into law.

A hearing was conducted before the 5-0 vote took place. Brian Levitt, a Jewish man who believes he was harmed by his circumcision, spoke in opposition to the bill. He urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to shelve what he called a “badly thought-out measure.” This is an emergency bill, but there is no emergency, Levitt said, pointing out there is no longer a pending ballot measure to object to, and no imminent harm to children or families. “Please do not rush into endorsing legislation that ... creates favored status for religions and practitioners over the rights of those of us who have to bear the surgery,” Levitt said.

Those speaking in support of the bill included Ryan Spencer, a spokesperson for the California Medical Association, who said local ballot measures on circumcision would interfere with the practice of medicine.

Should AB-768 become law, it will assert claims about the health and social benefits of circumcision that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association have consistently refused to make. In their 40 years of pronouncing on circumcision, the AAP has emphasized that any benefits are speculative and non-universal, while the risks and harms are known and apply to all. No national medical association in the world endorses non-therapeutic child circumcision, yet with AB-768, the California legislature would be endorsing a practice that is actively cautioned against by well-respected medical associations, such as those in the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

UPDATE: Video of the hearing posted (starting at 05:19):
http://www.calchannel.com/channel/viewvideo/2953


Comments

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It is agood thign that they passed such a bill because circumcision is something that sould be mandatory for all! A lot of essay service has started campaigns in it favor too. People need to realize the harmful effects of not having circumcision because only then will they do it!

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