Germany circumcision law expected to pass this year, allowing practice again

A regional court in Germany has ruled that the religious circumcision of boys is an assault on their physical integrity.
Muhannad Fala'ah

Germany’s government endorsed a new law Wednesday that allows circumcision, provided parents understand the risks and the procedure is performed by a trained professional, the BBC reported.

The law is expected to pass before the new year, and it makes no mention of religion, the BBC said.

The decision ends months of debate and protest about circumcision and the practice’s place in religion and society in general.

A lower court’s ruling earlier this year that said circumcision caused unnecessary suffering sparked outrage from Jewish and Muslim groups who consider the practice fundamental to their religions.

The lower court ruled in a case brought forward by a doctor who performed a circumcision on a 4-year-old Muslim boy that led to complications.

More from GlobalPost: Benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, US pediatricians’ group says

“It was always our intention to lift this ruling,” German government representative Steffen Seibert said of Wednesday's decision, according to Reuters.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said the proposed law “makes clear that circumcision is possible in Germany,” AFP reported, and removes “the legal uncertainty created by the judgment of the regional court in Cologne.”

The new law would legalize circumcision when it’s performed by trained experts, using the best possible means of pain relief, and when parents know the risks.

The lower court’s ruling sparked Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fear that Germany could become a “laughing stock” given its history, AFP said.

More than 4 million Muslims and 200,000 Jews live in Germany.

More from GlobalPost: Circumcision debate in Germany brings together Jews, Muslims in protest