"…The lives of defenseless infants literally hang in the balance. Because of that, [I] hope and expect that every New York City mayoral candidate, including [this candidate], will fully answer the questions I have asked in this email and [will] address the information attached below in a timely fashion, befitting someone who, if elected mayor, will be responsible for the city's public health and child protection.…"
A Chabad mohel performs metzitzah b'peh on an infant in Brooklyn last fall
Originally published at 1:58 pm CDT Friday, June 7, 2013
I sent a version of the following email about metzitzah b'peh (the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis suction performed by many haredi mohels after cutting off the baby's foreskin) to NYC mayoral candidates Anthony Weiner and Erick Selgado Wednesday afternoon, to NYC mayoral candidates Bill Thompson and John Liu yesterday afternoon, and to Bill De Blasio today. I also sent followup emails to Weiner and Selgado yesterday. (Christine Quinn already supports the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's requirement that parents sign an informed consent document before any child can have metzitzah b'peh, so I did not send the email to her.)
None of these candidates responded even though all of them (except Quinn) have repeatedly publicly defended metzitzah b'peh when speaking in front of haredi audiences. (De Balsio has not had sufficient time to respond.)
…[The candidate’s name] has made some recent remarks in support of metzitzah b'peh (MBP), the oral-to-genital suction done by many ultra-Orthodox ritual circumcisers.
As [the candidate] surely knows, MBP sickens, maims and even kills babies. The DoHMH and the US Centers for Disease Control, along with academic studies of the issue, confirm this.
Further, the US Supreme Court long ago definitively ruled that issues of public health and child safety trump religious freedom, and that has been the law of the land for decades.
Those facts in mind, I would like [the candidate] to explain why he insists that MBP should be allowed to continue without restriction or warning from the city.
Would [the candidate] extend his argument to female circumcision and argue, say, that it should be allowed?
I would also like [the candidate]’s comments on the attached handout. It documents a small portion of the thousands of deaths and injuries caused by MBP. (Its sources are listed at the bottom of the handout in italic typeface.)
The lives of defenseless infants literally hang in the balance. Because of that, my readers hope and expect that every New York City mayoral candidate, including [this candidate], will fully answer the questions I have asked in this email and address the information attached below in a timely fashion, befitting someone who, if elected mayor, will be responsible for the city's public health and child protection.
[Please click to enlarge or right click to download:]