Friday, October 12, 2012

Intact America, the Nation’s Leading Critic of Infant Circumcision, Kicked Out of the American Academy of Pediatrics' National Convention

Intact America, the Nation’s Leading Critic of Infant Circumcision, Kicked Out of the American Academy of Pediatrics' National Convention

AAP cites website content, Facebook page for barring exhibition booth for which the group had already accepted payment. Intact America plans protests in streets of New Orleans when AAP meets starting October 20th.

Tarrytown, NY (PRWEB) October 11, 2012 The American Academy of Pediatrics, reeling under criticism by advocates for human rights and children’s health of its recent report seeking reimbursement for neonatal male circumcisions, today suddenly canceled a contract that the nation’s leading group criticizing the unnecessary surgery had signed for an exhibition booth at its upcoming convention in New Orleans.

“The AAP has stacked the deck by filling its circumcision Task Force with pro-circumcision doctors and activists, and apparently is afraid to let its members learn the truth about the unnecessary, unethical, and risky surgery its members perform more than a million times a year on unconsenting baby boys,” said Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America, which has exhibited at several recent AAP conventions without incident.

“They can kick us out of their hall, but they can’t escape the growing realization that they have trapped themselves in an ethical quagmire by seeking reimbursement for surgery the American Medical Association properly calls ‘non-therapeutic,’” Chapin said. “They know that growing numbers of American parents are saying no to the removal of healthy functioning tissue from the genitals of their baby boys in a surgery that is a violation of medical ethics and the baby’s basic human rights.”

While the male circumcision rate in the United States was around 80 percent 30 years ago, it has steadily dropped to around 50 percent today. In Europe, circumcision rates in most countries are well under 10 percent, and European physician groups and even courts are now calling for doctors to stop performing all child circumcisions that are not medically indicated.

The AAP action came shortly after Chapin authored an essay appearing in the Huffington Post, arguing that the AAP was acting more like a trade association than a doctors’ organization that claims to be “dedicated to the health of all children.” In its report issued this summer, the AAP Task Force acknowledged that there were not enough benefits to justify recommending circumcision, but sought to win approval for reimbursement by insurance companies and the 18 states’ Medicaid programs where the surgery is currently not covered.

“Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns,” the report reads.

The AAP relied heavily on studies of sexually-active adult African men and the role circumcision might play in retarding female-to-male – but not male-to-female – transmission of the HIV virus linked to AIDS. The AAP and Centers for Disease Control correctly report there is no evidence circumcision plays any role in retarding male-to-male HIV transmission, which along with sharing intravenous needles is the predominant mode of HIV transmission in the United States.

“Ethical and scientific problems with the African research aside, trying to extrapolate from studies of sexually active adult African men to infant boys in America is bad science, bad medicine and bad health policy,” Chapin said. “Medical ethics requires necessity and informed consent for something as invasive as surgery. The foreskin is normal tissue, an integral part of the male anatomy that protects the rest of the penis and plays an important role in sexual pleasure. Babies should be left alone; when they become men, they can make their own informed decision about whether they want to remove a part of their own penises.”

“Not only does the AAP Task Force report ignore the ethical obligation of physicians to respect their patients' autonomy and do no harm, it repeatedly calls for doctors to be paid for removing healthy, functioning tissue from somebody who cannot consent,” Chapin wrote.

The AAP letter, sent from its Illinois headquarters and dated October 10th, cited content on Intact America's website and Intact America’s Facebook page in withdrawing the organization’s approval for the exhibit booth. The letter notes that the AAP respects Intact America’s right to protest outside the convention center, which was something already planned for the weekend of the convention.

“Pediatricians must be reminded that their patients are the babies,” Chapin said. “If we can’t remind them in the hall, we will remind them in the streets of New Orleans.”

Georganne Chapin
Intact America
Email Information


  1. Am so glad we live in the UK, where circumcision is not carried out routinely on normal, healthy male children, and if deemed medically necessary (I've worked in ped urology) is performed under G.A, the child is then nursed in hospital, given pain relief etc, and the decision isn't made lightly (my own son has a mild contracture round his penis, it occasionally gets infected, and needs treating, and we watch carefully for UTi's, so far so good, and my GP basically said they wouldn't do anything surgical unless he ended up needing regular antibiotics or treatment in hospital, and even then they wouldn't do a circumcision lightly) and it isn't offered cosmetically on the NHS, parents have to find a private doctor and pay for it themselves, and in fact most doctor's discourage even that. I have, unfortunately seen circumcisions being performed, although where I worked they were done under GA, so not the typical post birth one's normally seen, and cared for and seen babies in pain afterwards, and that firmly put me in the camp of "no cutting" for my son's. Sadly, in South Africa, where my husband is from, circumcision happens routinely, and a lot of my friends from there are amazed at why we won't have it done. "But it's cleaner", "it looks nicer", "it makes him look like his Dad", etc being thrown in my direction.

  2. Pathetic....
    This,makes me very sad...and angry....frustrated...
    What are the seven Deadly Sins??
    GREED....from pediatricians, obstetricians and constant fetal monitoring, epidural/Pit drip snowballs, unnecessary scheduled C-sections, vaccines, pointless well baby checkups, diapers (over half the world practices EC...) and the whole bottle/formula, and jarred baby food sitting on shelves, and let me also mention all the plastic containers/gadgets to further distance YOU THE PARENT FROM ESTABLISHING a strong nurturing and emotional bond.

  3. Surely, I would hope that future mommas AND daddys -to-be.....take the necesary time to a) Research and b) Discuss GINORMOUS DECISIONS like this.
    I am a,thankful momma with an Intact DS whom we are,also Intactivists....thank you Guggie for posting.