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Austrians Allow Circumcisions To Continue

An Austrian province ruled that doctors may continue to perform infant circumcisions for religious reasons without risking criminal charges.

Following a temporary suspension of infant circumcisions in hospitals, the Vorarlberg province’s Justice Ministry made the ruling on Monday, Reuters reported.

“We only wanted to get legal certainty for doctors so they can be clear whether they face legal consequences if they perform circumcisions for religious reasons,” said a spokesman for Vorarlberg Gov. Markus Wallner.

Last week, Wallner ordered doctors to stop performing infant circumcision for religious reasons until the legal status of the procedure was clarified after a district court in Cologne, Germany, banned the procedure on infants, saying it caused grievous bodily harm.

On Friday, an interfaith coalition of clergy issued a statement seeking clarification on the issue.

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