US/World News

Norwegian hospitals refuse to assist in circumcisions

(JTA) – At least two hospitals in Norway are refusing to service parents who wish to have their underage male children circumcised in violation of Norwegian law, a Norwegian paper revealed. Stavanger University Hospital in the country’s west and Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen are not cooperating on the nonmedical circumcision of boys younger than three years, the Stavanger Aftenblad regional newspaper reported July 9. The ban is in violation of Norwegian law, which requires public hospitals to offer ritual circumcision services either through their own facilities and staff or through a contractor.

However, the hospitals told Aftenblad that their policy is part of their regional health departments’ guidelines. The report did not say when the hospitals adopted the ban policy. Across Scandinavia, activists are promoting a ban on the nonmedical circumcision of boys with the backing of liberals, who say the practices are cruel, and nationalists, who view them as a foreign import to predominantly Christian societies.

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