American Academy of Pediatrics Changes Stance on Circumcision

The organization says that medical insurers should pay for the procedure.

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. 

Last year, Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission passed a resolution condemning a comic book character created by an anti-circumcision group called Foreskin Man that many deemed to be anti-Semitic. 

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? 

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Christina Bauer August 29, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Parents should OBVIOUSLY have the choice, however, I don't believe in circumcision infants. I will always choose "CHOICE"... But I think parents should do research on the matter before the baby is born. Many parents will just ask their doc if they should, and don't take the time to find out what's right for them. I just don't think that it's right to perform cosmetic surgery on a baby. Teach the boy good washing/hygiene, and all is well. It's ultimately a cultural subject.
Uncle Fishbits August 29, 2012 at 08:58 PM
As far as Freudian "psychic" memories of the cut, it's hogwash. At least, there's a long way to go to prove that a quick procedure at the beginning of life would reverberate throughout life, with any negative consequences. The doc slaps your ass too to get the baby breathing - is that cruelty? It shouldn't be about "choice" so much as public health, Parents aren't always able to make the right "choice" for their kids, whether it's indoctrination into a religion, diet, warmth and care, etc. If circumcision staves off health issues like infection, and it reduces sexually transmitted disease in any way - why is this even a conversation? It's not like the crazy "vaccination caused autism" people made a logical case against rigorous science. I think everyone should have a choice, but to call this cosmetic is highly misleading. This helps society be safer in lieu of parents who don't teach contraception or abstinence. It's only logical to suggest society be safer and healthier. The raucous crowd poo-pooing circumcision as cruel seem to be a lot like the vaccination-autism people. It would be more wise to argue a side that is vested in some level of rationalism and data, rather than unfounded opinion that jeopardizes health.


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