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Proposed Santa Monica circumcision ban dropped [Updated]

June 7, 2011 |  8:01 am

A woman who had planned to petition for a measure to ban circumcision in Santa Monica has reportedly dropped the effort, citing "misrepresentation" of her efforts by the media.

Jena Troutman said Monday she will not pursue the effort, the Jewish Journal reported.

Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom confirmed with a status update on his Facebook page, "The proponent of the Santa Monica ballot initiative to ban circumcision just left a msg 4 me that she is WITHDRAWING the measure!!"

[Updated at 8:37 a.m.: Bloom said Tuesday in a phone interview that he had since spoken to Troutman, who confirmed her intention to withdraw the measure. However, she had not yet taken formal action to do so.]

Troutman on May 19 submitted a notice of intention to circulate a petition.

The proposed measure would have made it a misdemeanor to circumcise a male under 18 years of age without "medical need."

In her notice to the city, Troutman wrote, "Genital mutilation constitutes a major health risk, violates human rights and has lifelong physical and psychological effects."

Jewish groups have decried anti-circumcision efforts as anti-Semitic. [Updated at 8:38 a.m.: Bloom, who is Jewish, on Tuesday called the measure “an intrusion on parental rights and religious freedom.”

In Santa Monica, he said, a group of rabbis had begun planning a strategy to oppose it.]

A similar initiative from the anti-circumcision group known as MGM Bill has garnered enough signatures in San Francisco to place it on the November ballot.

The leader of MGM (which stands for Male Genital Mutilation), Matthew Hess, recently drew fire with a comic book called "Foreskin Man" that featured dark-evil Jewish characters battling a blond hero.

Troutman told the Jewish Journal she wanted to distance herself from MGM and that the debate "shouldn't have been about religion in the first place."

-- Abby Sewell

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