Thursday, June 15, 2006

Parents Fight Over Son's Circumcision

Groups opposed to circumcision are watching the case of an 8-year-old suburban Chicago boy whose divorced parents are fighting in court over whether he should have the procedure.

The child's mother wants him circumcised to prevent recurring, painful inflammation she says he's experienced during the past year. But the father says the boy is healthy and circumcision, which removes the foreskin of the penis, is an unnecessary medical procedure that could cause him long-term physical and psychological harm.

There are religious issues, too:

Tracy Rizzo, the mother's attorney, said religion, not medicine, is the father's concern. Rizzo said the father disagrees with circumcision because he resents the fact that his ex-wife has remarried a Jewish man. The mother lives with her new husband, her son and her husband's son from a previous relationship in Northbrook.

The father, an Arlington Heights resident, denies he's concerned about the religion of his ex-wife's husband.

The mother testified Wednesday that she wanted the boy circumcised when he was a newborn, but her then-husband refused. She quoted him as saying at the time: "There is no way my son is going to be circumcised. He is not a Jew."

But the judge would not allow Alan Toback, an attorney for the father, to ask the new husband, who also testified Wednesday, if he is circumcised.

"We're not going there," the judge said.

Yeah, me neither.


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