Sunday, March 31, 2013

PORT HURON, MI: Intactivists picket hospital

"Nobody told me we didn't have to."

the Times Herald (Michigan)
March 30, 2013

Protesters decry infant circumcision

by Bob Gross

The people carrying signs Saturday in Pine Grove Park across from Port Huron Hospital were protesting cuts — but not to health care spending or state government.

Members of Intact Michigan were protesting infant circumcision.

“We believe that since girls are protected under the law from genital cutting, males also should be protected under the law from genital cutting until they’re old enough to decide,” said Kaitlyn Young, who organized the protest.

“We’re not against circumcision per se,” she said. “We’re against it being forced on infants.”

Mandi Owczarzak, of Sterling Heights, is one of the co-directors of Intact Michigan. She said the group picked Port Huron as a protest site, not because it’s a center of circumcision, but “it was a good place for all those who wanted to come.”

She has three children, two daughters and a son.

“This is important to me because nobody told me and I almost did it to my son,” she said. “Nobody told us we didn’t have to.”

Young said male infant circumcision is an American cultural tradition and usually is not done for religious reasons.

She said the group advocates religious circumcision be delayed until the male is old enough to make his own decision.

“It he wants to do it for religious decisions, it makes more sense for him to make that decision himself,” she said.

Young said the infant can suffer harm from the procedure, including death.

“A lot of people say it’s parental right or parental decision,” she said.

“It should be a son’s right whether or not he should have his foreskin.”

Young said the procedure is harmful.

“It did hurt the son, it did hurt the husband, it did hurt themselves if they are a man,” she said.

“We don’t need to perpetuate it on future generations.”

• For more information about Intact Michigan, go to

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