The Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper has reported that several parties in the Danish Parliament are considering legislation that would ban circumcision on boys as well as girls. After an intense week of discussions by MPs, it appears that the proposal for a ban covering both genders is gaining traction.
Although the Social Democrats, the Liberal Alliance, and the Red-Green Alliance have already gone public with their support for the ban, the Danish People’s Party is calling it a “tyranny.”
“It’s completely ridiculous to compare the circumcision of girls – which is a barbaric mutilation – with that of boys, where it’s just the removal of a skin flap,” said Jesper Langballe of the Danish People’s Party.
However The Copenhagen Post reports that the party’s own health spokesperson, Liselott Brixt, says she supports the circumcision ban, stating “a lot of parents want it done to their children because they themselves had it done. But we’re living in the present and it isn’t fair to expose healthy children to religious circumcision.”
At the centre of the debate is the question of religious freedom. Female circumcision was outlawed in Denmark because it was deemed a too-common practice among some Muslim immigrants. But Jewish tradition demands that boys be circumcised, and many Christians and Muslims support the practice as well. Denmark’s Ethics Council has criticised the practice, suggesting boys should wait until 15 to decide for themselves, the age at which a child has sole legal control over his or her body in Denmark.