The new law passed by an overwhelming majority in Bundestag lower house said the operation could be carried out, as long as parents were informed about the risks. The legislation was approved by 434 parliamentarian votes. One hundred lawmakers voted against the new law, while 46 voters abstained.
Another "alternative legislation draft" presented by 66 parliamentarians, most of which are women from opposition parties, which stipulated that male children under the age of 14 should not be circumcised, failed to receive a majority vote. Representatives from the Muslim and Jewish communities came out to witness the deliberations.
Under the new law, a doctor or trained expert must conduct the operation and children must endure as little pain as possible, which means an anesthetic should be used. The procedure cannot take place if there is any doubt about the child's health.
In May, a court in Cologne imposed a ban on circumcision procedures that solely applied to the area around Cologne. The ban - imposed on the grounds that circumcision amounted to "bodily harm" - triggered an emotional debate over the treatment of Jews and other religious minorities, a sensitive subject in a country still haunted by its Nazi past.
The outcry prompted Germany's centre-right government and opposition parties to draw up legislation confirming the practice was legal - overruling the decision by the court in the western city of Cologne.
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