Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger: Protect children's rights to bodily integrity. Age-restrict circumcision.
Congratulations to Germany for protecting the rights of baby boys! The Court in Cologne found that “The operation does serious bodily harm and only males old enough to consent to it freely should undergo it.” Circumcision always causes irreparable damage in that it removes healthy, functioning, highly specialized, innervated tissue.
Many baby boys and children under the age of 18 are circumcised in Germany and other countries against their will, often under the guise of religious reasons. Children should be allowed to choose for themselves once they reach the age of majority whether or not they wish to have their genitals permanently surgically altered.
Allowing males below 18 years of age to be circumcised whilst outlawing female circumcision of minors leads to a double-standard, and is actually sexual discrimination against males. All children have the right to genital integrity.
We urge you to please confirm the findings of the Court in Cologne with age-restricted circumcision to protect all children in Germany from any genital mutilation! This is not religious discrimination but protection of society’s most vulnerable members: babies and children, as mandated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Children can always be circumcised once they are 18. If anything, permitting Jewish and Muslim communities to continue to circumcise their children would also be a form of discrimination against them. Jewish and Muslim children deserve the same protection from unnecessary, risky surgery as all other children, especially in light of the complications that can, and do, arise, such as excessive bleeding, amputation, infection, and death.
Thank you for defending the rights of babies and children, and for creating a moral precedent for the world to follow.
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