Although the circumcision rate for newborn baby boys in the U.S. is at its lowest level in decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported this week that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. It’s the first time that the influential medical organization has updated its circumcision policy since 1999. The academy said that medical insurers should cover the procedure.
A review of medical literature published Monday in the journal Pediatrics finds that circumcision may protect heterosexual men against HIV infection. The policy shift comes as circumcision becomes a charged political topic from the Bay Area to Germany, where a court ruled in June that circumcision is illegal. Jewish groups are asking the German government to pass legislation that protects the practice.
The academy's position does not endorse circumcision, but suggests that it should be an option available to parents, according to an article in the New York Times.
According to a federal study of circumcisions performed in community hospitals published in February, there were 1.2 million hospital circumcisions in 2009. California counts one of the lowest circumcision rates in the country with 22 percent.
What do you think? Should circumcision should be banned, or should parents be allowed to have the choice, as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests?