Pro-Choice on Abortion, but What About Circumcision?

To be clear, this post is not about abortion but rather a sociocultural contradiction and hypocrisy revealed by the political lens of abortion. A few weeks ago  I was struck by the irony that those who advocate “pro-choice” regarding women’s bodies fail to extend that philosophy to men’s bodies. It is common knowledge and plainly evident that some women who choose an elective abortion early in life go on to raise children later in life. And since women who choose to raise children, on average, raise 2.4 children each, it stands to reason that most women will have at least one male child. But how many of those women choose elective circumcision of their sons without giving their sons the right to consent or to decline that procedure?

Obviously, an infant cannot make that decision, but by 12 years of age (the cusp of puberty), I would think that a child would have the understanding, appreciation, and wherewithal to reach that conclusion on his own. There are many reasons against circumcision and many reasons for circumcision. But mostly, it is a cultural practice with no health benefit either way. It is, however, a lopsided decision tree. While a boy cannot undo an infant circumcision, he can always choose the procedure at any time in his life. But the bigger issue is that it is his body and he should have the say in what is or is not done to his body.

I do not have the answer to this question, but I rhetorically pose it just the same: Why is it ok for a mother to choose what happens to her son’s penis and how does this square with pro-choice ideology?

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