Saturday, September 4, 2010

If Circ Rates Are Dropping, Time for AAP & CDC to Act

I took a little hiatus over the summer break, so I have no idea if I lost all the wonderful posters -- both pro and anti-circumcision -- during that time. Most of the medical news over the last few months continues to support the benefit of a foreskin-free society, both to protect the health of the male and the health of his partners.

But the most worrisome report, trumped up or not, was this notion that circumcision rates have dropped to one-third of male newborns in the USA. Now the statistics have been debunked by many as way off -- and in this part of the world, nobody I talk to thinks that the circ rate is anything below 80% -- but any drop at all is troubling as a matter of public health.

I've heard that the theory that a lot of these uncircumcised future disease-promoters are illegal aliens from south of the border. It's true that many Hispanics do not circumcise until they become "Americanized" in the second or third generation. It's bad enough that illegals are sneaking into the country -- it's even worse if they are refusing to raise clean-cut boys.

The other theory I've heard is that the refusal of 16 states, including California, to cover circumcision under Medicaid (health care for the poor) has contributed to the growing number of uncircumcised boys. That would particularly hurt the Black community, along with Hispanics, and the refusal to cover circumcisions for these groups is obviously a form of racism.

Whatever the reason for any drop, this makes it all the more urgent for the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics to release their 2010 statements calling for the circumcision of all boys. The so-called "neutral" stance of the CDC and the AAP is causing great long-term damage, and we need that more positive statement right now.

Most parents want to do what is right for their sons. If the CDC and the AAP said that circumcision was an appropriate and healthy procedure with a great many benefits, I know that the circ rate -- assuming it even is dropping -- will return to historic high levels of 90%-plus. A foreskin-free America and the health of both males and females is in the balance.