The Agudath Israel penned this letter (url below) to the Mayor of NYC.
I state unequivocally: "There is no such religious tradition against the use of gloves. It is made up. It is no more ridiculous than saying 'we do not accept kidney transplants because there is no religious tradition for it.'" There is no religious tradition for any medical innovation because medical innovations are all relatively new. [Even if you'll argue that the "religious tradition" is motivated by the need to do priah with the fingernails, it is possible to do priah with fingernails when using thin sterile gloves!]
4. Comparing the Jewish Mayor of NYC to efforts against circumcision in Europe is hardly appropriate or accurate.
5. Quoting the party line that "there is serious skepticism" about whether the Department of Health even knows what they're talking about and if they really understand HSV-1 and Herpes is a lesson in intellectual dishonesty. I have said over and over how grateful I am that the instances of Metzitzah B'Peh causing infection or death are uncommon. But they are not ZERO. Suggesting there is no evidence to link metzitzah to these cases is elsewhere called "Being Blinded By Your Own Ideology." Even medical professionals in the Ultra-Orthodox camp, who would never dream of putting a mouth on any open wound in their medical practice, advocate it in this instance arguing that it is beneficial to the baby, there is no link to metzitzah and Herpes from any mohel, and that it is 100% safe with a perfect record for 2000 years. These are medical professionals who are not telling the truth, and whom I would be wary of going to for medical advice.
6. It is arrogant to suggest that the Agudath Israel represents all of Orthodox Jewry. "It gave us exactly one day's notice of its plan to propose a new regulation requiring written consent. It allowed the community no opportunity to review drafts of its statement, brocure or proposed regulation, or to have any meaningful input into the process."
The only part of all this that I agree to is that government should stay out of this. Issue all the warnings you want (as you do on medications, liquor and cigarettes). But don't mandate what people can or cannot do in this regard.
But this can be the Ultra-Orthodox movements chance to make this "your finest hour" (to quote Churchill).
I do not advocate getting rid of metzitzah. I do advocate doing it in a safe and sterile manner - with a sterile pipette. Which is as halakhically approved as the other method, and is more sensible, appealing to everyone, and follows the meaning of "B'peh" (with the mouth) without putting a baby at risk.
Rabbis, leaders, and most importantly parents of newborn boys should follow the advice of Dena Davis as outlined here. This is no longer a religious freedom issue. This is a "safety of babies must be our top priority issue." And from the rabbis to the leaders to every average Joe, that argument should rule the day.