For many people, circumcisions are a religious rite; for some, they're a cultural given. But some people in California—"intactivists," according to a recent article in the New York Times—are moving to make the practice illegal. Their objective is to "protect children from an unnecessary medical procedure" which they refer to as “male genital mutilation.”
Fanning the flames are incidents of circumcisions gone wrong, such as the Brooklyn toddler who recently died from circumcision-related complications. Arguments supporting circumcision as a valid medical practice are data indicating that it can help reduce the risk of HIV.
Is this a debate worth having? Should the "intactivists" keep their opinions to themselves, or is there any legitimacy to the "male mutiliation" claim? While the movement to ban circumcisions is apparently intended to protect children from a medical procedure, is that negated by the evidence of reduced HIV risk? Does this debate cross over into a separation-of-church-and-state issue?