In any other instance, this outrageous action of sucking a newborn’s penis would constitute sexual abuse. But cut the foreskin in a religious ceremony, and now you are free to do it, and you shouldn’t even have to ask the baby’s parents if they agree, even if you may be carrying the Herpes virus in your mouth.
Let’s remember that this is not just a possibility. Just in April of this year 2 babies were reported to have contracted Herpes because of this ritual, and this infection that can be life threatening or permanently disabling for a newborn.
If this bill is enacted, every new baby infected with HPV by the means of Metzitzah b’Peh should know that this man is responsible for his tragedy.
|City Council David Greenfield||Metzitzah b’Peh (literally, “Oral Suction”)|
From The Jewish Week:
“This is one of the most outrageous examples of government intruding into the ability of residents to freely practice their religion without restrictions based on questionable findings.” said Greenfield, a Democrat, in his remarks, which were forwarded to the press.
“I continue to be outraged that the city took this incredibly misguided step last year, and will fight until the board reverses its decision or this bill becomes law. It is imperative that every citizen, regardless of their particular religion, be able to practice and worship without the fear of being restricted or targeted by their own government.”
Samantha Levine, deputy press secretary to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in an emailed response Tuesday that the city was acting to save lives.
“Health Department investigations of newborns with herpes virus between 2000–2013 have shown that 13 infants contracted the herpes virus when mohelim, or ritual circumcisers, placed their mouths directly on the child’s circumcision wound to draw blood away from the circumcision cut,” Levine said.
“Two of these babies died. The city’s highest obligation is to protect its children and it is critical for parents to know the risks associated with the practice.”