ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending New York City's tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision.
Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual of sucking blood from the wounds on the infants' penises.
The new deal no longer requires the circumcisers to obtain signed consent forms before the rites. The circumcisers are called mohels in Yiddish.
Some health experts have said the city needs to establish more safeguards.
De Blasio said Wednesday the old policy of obtaining signed consent forms was "unenforceable" and offended some community members.
He also vowed that the city would stop any "wrongdoing" and prevent any mohel who gives a child herpes from continuing to administer the rite.