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Circumcision: Colorado to stop Medicaid coverage of snipping newborn boys' foreskin

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A week from today, Colorado is cutting -- pun intended -- Medicaid funding for circumcisions. According to the Associated Press, the state will join seventeen others in making the cost-saving move, which will likely please circumcision opponents, such as Paul Russo, the subject of a 1996 Westword story called "Boys and Their Hoods," as well as the foreskin of Medicaid-eligible newborn boys statewide.

It's also been praised by the San Francisco group behind a proposal to ban circumcision in that city. As reported in our sister paper, SF Weekly, a proposition to make it illegal to remove the foreskin of anyone under eighteen years old has been placed on San Francisco's November ballot.

Earlier this week in San Francisco, Jewish and Muslim leaders filed a lawsuit asking the California Superior Court to remove the proposition from the ballot because it violates freedom of religion. From SF Weekly's news blog, The Snitch:

And circumcision, they say, is a medical procedure. Not only does it help reduce diseases such as HIV, it increases sexual pleasure. Health benefits aside, religious organizations have argued that the measure is not only offensive but unconstitutional.

Will Colorado's changing Medicaid rules cause a similar uprising?

More from our Politics archives: "Midwifery: Bill to expand midwives' scope of practice passes legislature, but without suturing."

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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