Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love Your Babies Pre-born and Born: Don't Abort and Don't Cut!

This post is not an appropriate area for abortion debate. No comments on abortion debate will be published. I am merely collecting some thoughts I posted on my Facebook wall and putting them here for safekeeping. They stem from Jill Stanek's recent article, where she and Dr. Gerard Nadal both defended routine infant circumcision while ironically attacking Russell Crowe, who defended abortion and opposed circumcision.

You can read her article here.




Connections. As I continue to research the issues of conception, pregnancy, birth and parenting, I see one long connecting thread. Women are dehumanized and objectified. They are merely vessels, factory machines tasked with building products of conception. Every step of the way of what should be a sacred journey into mothering is instead commercialized. Our culture tells us:

We cannot get pregnant (or stay unpregnant) without paying someone.
We cannot stay pregnant without paying someone.
We cannot birth without paying someone.

So why, then, is it surprising that other commercial interests such as abortion, adoption/surrogacy and circumcision, are connected to this? It is merely one big industry: the birthing industry. Whether the child ends up alive or dead, with his birth mother or not, with all his organs or not, one sure thing is that many people profited from it all.

It is with these thoughts that I posted this statement under my son's photo:

My body is not defective.
My fertility is not a disease.
My pregnancy is not a condition.
My birth is not a medical emergency.
My breasts are not for sexual objectification.

My son is not a glob of tissue.
My son's foreskin is not a mistake.

And what does this have to do with anti-abortion advocates such as Jill Stanek or Dr. Gerard Nadal?

They clearly and strongly speak out against the commercialized and dehumanized violence of abortion, yet defend the same commercialization and dehumanization within the practice of routine infant circumcision.

Right about now, people perhaps are saying, “Wait a minute! Maybe they just don’t know about the issues of circumcision.”

That’s a fair statement. Much of this “birth industry” floats around in our culture with strong myths and pseudo-science. I understand completely if someone simply needs to get up to speed on the issue so as to begin consistently opposing it.

And so I remain hopeful that Jill and Gerard will read the many comments and links provided to them in Jill's article and come full circle to stand with intactivists in opposing the violation of forced circumcision. I left my own comment:

I am extremely disheartened whenever this contradiction comes up in the pro-life movement. We preach that ALL humans have rights and dignity, but then we ignore their right to a whole body at birth.

1. We preach that parents do not own their children, but then we ignore when parents choose medically unnecessary surgery for them at birth.

2. We preach that parents cannot predict the future and should not abort to save the baby from future pain, but then we ignore parents who try to tell the future with circumcision.

3. We preach that even the littlest among us can think, and remember, and feel, but then we deny that once they are strapped down for their circumcision.

4. We preach that science agrees with our movement, but then we draw on outdated or flawed studies to justify our desire to cut our babies.

5. We preach that aborting based on gender/sex is wrong, but then we defend circumcision based on gender/sex.


Pro-lifers might have a lot of information available on those 5 points within the context of abortion. But what about within the context of circumcision?

1. No medical organization in America or the world recognizes routine infant circumcision as a medical procedure. It is considered non-therapeutic or cosmetic.
 



Read the actual policies/statements here: http://www.nocirc.org/position/

2. Circumcision does not provide future protection against STDs/HIV. 



Read the science and crunch the numbers here: http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/02/circumcision-increases-risk-of.html

3. Infants are rarely fully anesthetized for circumcision surgeries. They often feel pain and unbiased studies have proven it. Even if they cannot consciously recall the memory of their circumcision, it still leaves permanent biological markers, such as altered brain receptors and altered chemical levels. Learn more with these links:

The AAP’s findings on who uses pain management and how much: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/101/3/423

“Up to 96 percent of the babies in the United States and Canada receive no anesthesia when they are circumcised, according to a report from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “ http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9712/23/circumcision.anesthetic/

Study shows that infants feel and remember circumcision pain:
http://www.sickkids.ca/aboutsickkids/newsroom/past-news/1997/study-shows-that-infants-feel-and-remember-circumcision-pain.html

A study published in the British Journal of Urology demonstrating that the five most sensitive areas of the penis are on the foreskin, and that the most sensitive area of the circumcised penis is on the circumcision scar: 
http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/sorrells_2007.pdf

4. Throughout the last century, circumcision has been justified by doctors and scientists for a variety of crazy reasons, including curing epilepsy, stopping masturbation, eliminating bedwetting and protecting against syphilis. It is a procedure in search of a cure.

Historical Circumcision Quotes in medical journals by doctors:
 
http://www.sexuallymutilatedchild.org/shorthis.htm

Histories of Circumcision in USA, Australia and Britain: 
http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/

5. Female circumcision was promoted by Americans and legal until 1996, when America enacted a federal ban for ALL methods and ALL reasons (including religious reasons).

This is Soroya Mire, a VICTIM of FGM, speaking out against MGM:
 

This is Ayaan hirsi Ali, a VICTIM of FGM, who equates both FGM and MGM as violations:

Girl Circumcision:
http://www.circumstitions.com/AAP.html

An FGM researcher compares MGM cultural justifications: 
http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.html

Common Denominators between Male & Female Circumcision: 
http://www.noharmm.org/comparison.htm

Underlying Justifications in the US and Africa: 


Love your babies pre-born and born. Don’t abort them and don’t cut them.


"Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator."

~
Pope John Paul II, in "The Gospel of Life" (1995), no. 3

More on the dignity of the body:
http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2011/08/catholic-thoughts-on-whole-body-and.html

10 comments:

  1. I agree with your premise.

    However, I don't believe that parents who circumcise are deliberately trying to hurt their children. I think they are trying to protect their children, either for health reasons or aesthetics.

    I think at the very least it should be required that babies be fully pain-free when the procedure is done. We have the medications, it's barbaric not to. Even with religious exemptions, the child's well-being needs to be taken into account.

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  2. The exact same argument can be applied to abortion, too, and often is in an abortion debate.

    People often point out that during later-term abortions, the mother is given anesthesia and this pain medication passes to the baby. So the baby is full pain-free when the procedure is done.

    Many parents sincerely believe that abortion protects their children for health reasons and aesthetics. If you are unaware of this, continue researching the abortion debate, especially the topic of abortion pressure after a special needs diagnosis.

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  3. I do believe circumcision and abortion CAN relate, considering both are human rights violations. Abortion chops up a human being, and circumcision chops up a human being's body part. Both are violent and done out of "love". Sick

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  4. Great post. If you oppose abortion, it just makes no sense for you to support MGM. I agree that these issues are closely linked in philosophy (though I think preventing them both will take different strategies).

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  5. While circumcision is not quite the same as taking a life, already born or not, I think you made some good comparisons and it was a good read. Thanks.

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  6. I agree. If a baby has the right to life (and I firmly believe he does), he also has the right to bodily integrity. Either he's a person or he isn't. Parental rights only go so far as doing what is necessary for that child's life, health, etc., not making a decision for them about what parts of their body they might or might not need when they grow up. Our children are God's children, entrusted to us to bring up, not our property to do with as we wish.

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  7. I can't understand...

    you could take my whole pinky finger and I would still have a life...

    You could take my whole uterus and I would still have a life...

    I am not saying that I support circumcision, nor am I saying that I am anti-abortion, I just think that when we start to look at cosmetic surgery with the same light as we do life that something valuable is lost in that.

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  8. Amputating the prepuce is not merely cosmetic surgery. It reflects many other concepts and touches on many other human issues.

    You could rape me and I would still have a life. You could cut my ears and eyelids off and I would still have a life.

    Circumcision is the extension of the abortion mentality. It is the continuation, not the same level, but from the same worldview. It says the smaller human is insignificant, imperfect, unfeeling, unthinking and unworthy of basic human rights to a whole body.

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  9. I chose not to circumcise, but I know many who do. I don't like it, but I don't think it is inherently evil as abortion is. Circumcision is often cultural and occasionally medically necessary. Abortion is neither cultural nor medically necessary.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Killing someone will always be more grave than mutilating someone. But that's like saying murdering an adult is worse than raping an adult. We don't have to fight over which is worse to oppose both of them and promote peace in our culture.

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