June Update: Florida and Norway
There were a couple of sobering developments in the month of June.
First, the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare in Florida includes previously uncovered "benefits" including newborn circumcision. That is, Medicaid funding for circumcision has been restored in Florida, which is the first state known to have taken such a step.
Secondly, after some very positive developments spearheaded by Norwegian Children's Ombudsman Anne Lindboe, Norway has now reversed course and passed a law protecting circumcision and regulating it, in analogy with the 2001 Swedish law. An article about the Norwegian development taken from the Jewish Press appears below
Norway Passes Circumcision Law
Nurses union called in March to ban traditional Jewish practice, compared bris milah to female genital mutilation
By Meir Halevi Siegel
The Jewish Press
June 25, 2014
The Norwegian Parliament has passed legislation protecting circumcision as a legal right.
The bill says the purpose of the legal move is “ensure that the ritual circumcision of boys conducted in a safe manner, and to ensure that an offer of ritual circumcision is available,” in cases where the procedure “is religiously justified.”
In addition, the law specifies that circumcisions must be performed by a licensed physician, but provides for ritual circumcision to be performed by others “if the physician is present and is responsible for the procedure.”
In March, Norway’s nurses union called on the government to ban non-medical circumcision of boys under 15. Astrid Grydeland Ersvik, a representative for the union, told the Aftenposten tabloid at the time that “Jews are a small group in Norway, they have been allowed to influence the debate on this issue.”
Ersvik also compared male circumcision to female genital mutilation, which is banned in Norway.
“If we get a law that allows this in boys while it is illegal in girls, then this is discriminatory,” she said.