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article imageDenmark: Public-supported ban on male circumcision sparks debate

By Megan Hamilton     Nov 27, 2014 in Politics
A poll conducted by a newspaper in Denmark showed that almost three-quarters of Danes think that circumcision should be restricted or banned completely, and this prompted Denmark's parliament to debate the issue earlier today.
Metroxpress, a Danish newspaper, commissioned the poll and interviewed 1,000 people. Results show that 74 percent of those who responded say there should be either a full or partial ban on circumcision. Only 10 percent thought that there shouldn't be any restrictions, The Week reported.
Denmark's left-wing Red-Green Alliance (Ehedslisten) and libertarian party Liberal Alliance were expected to advocate some form of ban when parliament met today. In 2013, the Council of Europe adopted a resolution that opposed ritual circumcision in any form, saying that it casts a "moral stain" and that it promulgates hate and racism in Europe, per The Week.
In fact, in the resolution, the council recommends that all 47 member states adopt regulations regarding circumcision.
Prior to 1948, about one-third of men in the UK were circumcised before the introduction of the National Health Service. Rates began to fall quickly when the organisation deemed the operation wasn't medically necessary and, as a result, wasn't covered. About 9 percent of men in the UK are circumcised nowadays.
Circumcision rates for men are also falling in the US, after having been much higher in the past, according to information compiled by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The Week reports.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Medical experts are still all over the map as to whether or not circumcision is a harmful practice, and actor Russell Crowe sparked a firestorm of controversy when he lambasted the practice as "barbaric and stupid," The Daily Mail reports.
In the article, Dr. Charles Flack, a urologist, says that while circumcisions aren't necessary, penile cancer only occurs in uncircumcised men, and that uncircumcised men have a higher risk of HIV than men who are circumcised.
In 2013, Sundhedsstyrelsen, the Danish health and medicines authority concluded that there wasn't enough documentation regarding the benefits of circumcision to recommend it, but neither was there enough risk to justify a ban. It filed the report following an extensive debate on the topic in the media, The Independent reports.
Figures compiled by Sundhedsstyrelsen suggest that between 1,000 and 2,000 circumcisions are performed in Denmark each year, mostly among Jewish and Muslim boys.
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