Many US States Stop Funding for Circumcision

Colorado has joined 17 other states in withdrawing Medicaid funding for circumcision of newborn boys. The cash-strapped state hopes to save about $186,500 each year from this move. In California, debate is raging over circumcision with San Francisco hosting a public vote last year about banning the practice.

Muslim and Jewish families say circumcision is their religious right. But, opponents say parents force this mutilation on their children. They also aver that taxpayer money should not be spent on mutilating the body parts of unconsenting minors.

South Carolina hopes to save about $114,800 each year by suspending funding for circumcisions. Other states like Louisiana, Maine, Florida, California and Arizona also no longer provide funding for circumcisions.

Experts says Jews will not be affected by the lack of funding because Jewish ritual circumcisions are performed by a religious specialist and not hospital doctors. In the US about 75% of boy babies are circumcised.

Proponents of circumcision say this procedure reduces the risk of penile cancer and urinary tract infections. They also opine that suspending funding for this religious ritual would discriminate against Muslims and Jews. But, Colorado lawmakers reveal the move was unavoidable as the state simply does not have enough money to support circumcisions.

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