Austrian province suspends circumcisions amid row
VIENNA (Reuters) - An Austrian province has told state-run hospitals to stop performing circumcisions on boys, wading into a religiously-charged debate ignited after a regional court in neighboring Germany banned the procedure as physical abuse.
The governor of Vorarlberg province said he had taken the decision to stop circumcisions until such time as Austria could formulate a uniform approach to a practice that is supported both by Muslims and Jews.
"This is a subject that has to be regulated country-wide," a spokesman for Governor Markus Wallner said, confirming media reports that he had advised hospitals in the western province to suspend circumcisions carried out for religious reasons.
Austrian broadcaster ORF said such operations were rare in Vorarlberg.
Germany's lower house of parliament last week passed a resolution protecting the religious circumcision of infant boys after a Cologne court ban outraged Muslims and Jews, sparking an emotional debate that has spilled into neighboring Austria.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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