BERLIN, July 24 (UPI) -- U.S. military authorities in Germany say a court ruling against circumcision does not yet affect their hospitals and clinics.
That's because the decision is only binding in the state of Cologne, Stars and Stripes reported. Ed Rohan, a spokesman for the Europe Regional Medical Command, said the U.S. military has no facilities there.
"If another jurisdiction in which we have military treatment facilities were to pick up the same legal reasoning, there is a possibility that it would apply to healthcare providers," he said. "At this point they will continue to perform circumcisions, but our legal experts will continue to follow this issue and provide advice based on any other court or legislative actions."
The decision was a controversial one, with opponents including Prime Minister Angela Merkel. She said it would make Germany a "laughing stock."
Jewish and Islamic groups, which require all boys to be circumcised, said the court ruling violated freedom of religion.
Circumcision became almost routine for baby boys in the United States in the 20th century, although its practice has dipped. It was always less popular in Europe.
In 2008, the Finnish Supreme Court reversed a lower court ban on circumcision.
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