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SF could vote on male circumcision ban
April 28th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

SF could vote on male circumcision ban

Activists who want to ban all male circumcisions in San Francisco took a step closer to getting the measure to a vote this fall.

Led by Lloyd Schofield who is part of a Bay Area “intactivist” group, the advocates call the after-birth procedure "male genital mutilation" and liken it to cutting female genitals.

Schofield and the intactivists seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis" of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco.  Under the proposal, a person who violates the proposed ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000). Exemptions for religious reasons would not be allowed.

"It's up to the choice of the individual - not the parents, society or religion," Schofield told CNN in November. "This is a choice for body integrity. Just as females are protected from having a drop of blood drawn from their genitals, baby boys deserve the same protection.

Should teens make circumcision decision?

The activists needed 7,168 signatures by the end of this month to have the measure appear on the November 2011 ballot.  The activists submitted more than 12,000 signatures, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The city’s Department of Elections will learn within a month whether the signatures came from registered city voters.  “If so, the city will have another one of its classic only-in-San Francisco measures to debate,” according to the paper.

Circumcising our son - How do we decide?

The measure faces huge hurdles: Legal, religious opposition and varying public opinion.  It has brought up some interesting discussions about why we circumcise and whether there are any sound medical benefits.

Reader response to 'Circumcising our son'


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.