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California Bill Seeks Statewide Rules On Circumcision

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California lawmakers will consider whether local jurisdictions have the right to ban male circumcision or whether the practice should be covered by statewide rules.

The debate set for Tuesday evolved from a divisive measure in San Francisco that was removed from the ballot by a judge.

The legislation comes against a national backdrop of efforts to limit male circumcision, which critics say is an unnecessary surgery to a healthy and defenseless child.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Los Angeles Democrat, says statewide rules are needed to protect the valuable medical procedure that also is an important religious ritual for Jews and Muslims.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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