WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The parents of a newborn boy have separated in a dispute over whether to have the child circumcised, a fight that has landed in court.

Sheila Grisham says circumcision is important to her religious beliefs. Her husband, Rodney Grisham, says the procedure is equivalent to sexual assault and has filed a protection-from-abuse order in his son's name in a Sedgwick County court.

``I believe every child has a right to have their genitals left alone,'' he said.

In circumcision, an anesthetic is usually applied to the penis and the foreskin is cut away. The American Academy of Pediatrics said it carries few medical benefits and is generally unnecessary, but suggests families follow their personal preferences.

The couple's 2-week-old son, Asher, is staying with his mother.

Sheila Grisham said she consulted with her pastor, who believes circumcision is not necessary for salvation but is an important part of Judaic Christian heritage.