The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Voters May Decide on Circumcision Ban in Santa Monica

Should circumcision be a crime? This is a question that Santa Monica voters may soon be asking themselves.

The proposed ban on circumcision for boys under the age of 18 is already on San Francisco's November ballot, but KTLA now reports that Santa Monica may soon be following San Francisco's footsteps with its own proposed circumcision ban.

The group supporting the "MGM Bill" is pushing for a ballot measure in Santa Monica that would make the act of cutting the foreskin of male genitals on a person under age 18 a misdemeanor crime. The proposed San Francisco measure would make circumcising a boy punishable with a $1,000 find and one year of imprisonment.

If the ban reaches the ballot, it may not be long before criminal lawyers have to defend people who perform circumcisions in court. Yet the idea of a circumcision ban remains controversial because circumcision of male infants is a religious requirement in Judaism. Some might say that such a law would be a violation of the 1st Amendment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also stated that people with circumcisions have lower risk of HIV, urinary infections and the transmission of STDs.

On the other side, MGM Bill supporters argue that a circumcision can be mentally scarring for men. The group describes the circumcision procedure as painful and unnecessary, where there is always the risk that complications can arise when cutting off foreskin.

We’ll see just how many people in Santa Monica are supportive of making circumcision a misdemeanor crime if the initiative makes it to the voters later this year.

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