The American Academy of Pediatrics has moderated its policy on female circumcision -- a decision that quickly spurred widespread denunciation from advocacy groups and government officials.

The academy's committee on bioethics released a new position paper last week, suggesting that doctors perform a "ritual nick" to prevent families from going overseas for full circumcision procedures.

Right now, federal law in the United States prevents "any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals" of females.

The position statement describes the nick as "a compromise" that could limit the number of young girls forced to endure female genital mutilation in their family's native country.

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