Germany’s Parliament approved a bill on Wednesday that explicitly legalizes circumcision, following months of uncertainty over the law after a court declared the practice illegal.
The surgery is one of the most common medically unnecessary procedures performed around the world, and while it is mostly safe, it also carries the potential for some side effects. One such botched circumcision is what triggered a lawsuit in Germany earlier this year, ultimately leading a district court in Cologne to ban the practice in June.
Fearing prosecution for child abuse, German doctors stopped performing circumcisions, leaving the deed to devout religious leaders. The decision outraged religious Muslims and Jews, who joined forces to push back against the ban.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said she feared the country would become a laughing stock for banning the religious practice, especially considering Germany’s sordid and bloody history dealing with Jews in the last century.
The law is expected to be finalized in the coming days.
The audio below is from BBC World, published October 11, 2012.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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