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lawmakers propose religious circumcision ban
25 September 2013
Two members of Sweden’s legislature, the Riksdag, have presented a motion to ban the circumcision of male minors not carried out for medical reasons. Based on the ban of female genital mutilation, Björn Söder and Per Ramhorn of the right-wing Sweden Democrats argue that “boys should have the same right to avoid both complications of reduced sensitivity in the genitals, painful erections, increased risk of kidney damage and psychological distress by permanent removal, and the tremendous violation of privacy that circumcision actually means.”
The motion proposes to scrap legislation from 2001 that says circumcision of newborn babies is permissible if performed by a “licensed professional.”
Jewish ritual circumcisers in Sweden receive their licenses from the country’s health board, but a nurse or doctor must still be present when they perform the procedure.
Ritual circumcision of underage boys increasingly has come under attack in Scandinavia, both by left-wing secularists as well as right-wingers who fear the influence of immigration from Muslim countries.
The opposition follows a ruling last year by a German court in Cologne that ritual circumcision amounted to a criminal act. The ruling was overturned but triggered a lot of debate in Germany as well as neighboring countries Austria and Switzerland.
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