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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: Parenting Channel
Reported January 10, 2012

Circumcision Debate: A Mom's Perspective


(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- It’s a decision all moms with boys will have to make. Should you circumcise? For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a neutral stance on circumcision. But recently, they shifted their position, saying the health benefits outweigh the risks. But the Academy stopped short of recommending the procedure routinely. 
Eight days after Lindsay and Alex Rothstein welcomed their son Jack into the world, their family and friends gathered for a Bris -- a Jewish circumcision ceremony. 
“It was what happened to me. It was what happened to my father and my grandfathers before me,” Alex told Ivanhoe.
“It was done in such a respectful way,” Lindsay added.
For Lindsay and Alex, the decision to circumcise Jack was an easy one: their religion demands it. But other moms, like Maria Moser, say the ritual is cruel. 
“Cut it off or wash it, I think I’ll wash it, thanks,” Maria told Ivanhoe.
Maria chose not to circumcise her two boys – Jude and Blaize. She says they have a right to their own foreskin.
“So often we talk about women’s rights and women’s reproductive rights – their own health and making their own choices, but we don’t afford our boys that same right,” Maria said.
Circumcision has become a hot topic worldwide. Today, about 55 percent of U.S. male babies are circumcised. In Europe, it’s only about 10 percent. This past summer, a German court banned circumcision on children. But the American Academy of Pediatrics recently modified their stance, citing “potential medical benefits.” They referenced studies showing the procedure lowered HIV risk by about 60-percent. Critics say those studies -- which were conducted in Africa -- were flawed. 
The conflicting evidence has left many parents confused, but these moms stand by their decisions. 
“It was definitely an interesting experience, and one that I’m glad that we did,” Lindsay said.
“What other procedure would they do where they remove healthy tissue from an un-consenting infant?” Maria said.
The controversial German court ruling to make circumcision illegal in parts of the country has outraged Jews and Muslims. The decision was challenged, and on December 12, 2012, German lawmakers approved a bill to keep male infant circumcision legal.


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