In a survey of more than 1, 000 Danes conducted by for the Metroxpress newspaper, 74 percent of respondents wanted a full or partial ban on circumcision, while only ten percent supported letting parents circumcise their sons, the English language Danish website The Local reported.
The Danish parliament is holding a hearing on circumcision on Wednesday. The leftist Red-Green Alliance and the libertarian Liberal Alliance favor a ban on the practice, while other parties do not yet have a coherent view on the issue.
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Following extensive media coverage in 2012 and 2013, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority conducted a study of the potential health risks and benefits of circumcision. In June 2013, the agency determined that there was not sufficient evidence to prove the risks or the benefits of circumcision.
Regardless of these rather benign findings, Wednesday’s hearing in parliament will likely be the first step toward a ban.
“We will handle this topic politically within a few years. As I see it, it goes against the [UN’s] Convention on the Rights of the Child to circumcise children. I’m leaning toward a ban until the person is of legal age, ” Venstre MP Hans Christian Schmidt, a former health minister, told Metroxpress.
According to the health ministry, between 1, 000 and 2, 000 circumcisions are performed in Denmark each year, most often on Jewish and Muslim boys.
Jair Melchior of the Jewish faith group Mosaisk Troessamfund warned against allowing public opinion polls decide policy on circumcision.
“The problem is that there are so many assertions in the debate on circumcising boys. If it was so dangerous, the Jewish community would have been the first to stop it. But it’s not, ” Melchior told Metroxpress.
Denmark’s neighbors Sweden and Norway have also been discussing a ban on male circumcision. In 2012, Germany passed a law allowing religious circumcision under medical supervision.