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August 28, 2012

U.S. Pediatricians Group Sees Benefits in Newborn Circumcision

The American Academy of Pediatrics, an influential U.S. pediatricians group, says in a new policy statement that the health benefits of circumcision in newborn boys outweigh any risks, The Associated Press reports. The group stops short of an endorsement, saying the decision should be up to parents. The group also urges health insurance companies to cover the procedure because it reduces the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as urinary tract infections and penis cancer. The new policy adds to the debate whether circumcision is medically necessary or a cosmetic procedure. U.S. circumcision rates are declining, but nearly half of baby boys still get circumcised. About 18 states have eliminated Medicaid coverage of circumcision.

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