Friday, August 24, 2012

TARRYTOWN, NY: Intact America

Intact America
August 22, 2012


Group Opposed to the Non-Therapeutic Genital Cutting of All Children Calls AAP “Shockingly Biased and Out of Touch with Medical Ethics and Children’s Rights”

TARRYTOWN, NY—Intact America, an organization founded in 2008 to ensure that all children are protected from permanent bodily alteration inflicted on them without their consent, is criticizing the anticipated August 27 release by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) of its new “Circumcision Policy Statement.” Based on comments to the press made by members of the AAP’s Task Force on Circumcision, which authored the document, Intact America deplores the Statement’s focus on selective evidence supporting medical benefits of removing normal foreskins from baby boys.

Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America, stated today, “From the AAP Circumcision Task Force’s pre-publication comments, it is clear that the group has chosen to feature only literature (almost exclusively focused on adult men in Africa) that supports its predisposition toward circumcising boys; the Task Force has failed to consider the large body of evidence from the developed world that shows no medical benefits for the practice, and has given short shrift, if not dismissed out of hand, the serious ethical problems inherent in doctors removing healthy body parts from children who cannot consent.”

In 2010, Intact America responded similarly when the AAP issued a new Policy Statement on Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors; this statement called for doctors to be allowed to inflict a “ritual nick” on infant girls’ genitalia for “cultural” reasons, in contravention of Federal law prohibiting any such cutting. The AAP’s policy statement also acknowledged that, “Some forms of FGC [performed in African cultures] are less extensive than the newborn male circumcision commonly performed in the West.” Pressure from Intact America and other groups opposing Female Genital Mutilation resulted in the quick retraction of the AAP’s call for tolerance of and doctors’ participation in the ritual cutting of baby girls, and in the issuance of a revised policy condemning “all types of female genital cutting that pose risks of physical or psychological harm.” Intact America maintains that any alteration or cutting performed on the normal, healthy genitalia of minors is an unethical act that ignores the well-established right of all individuals to bodily integrity.

“It is clear,” said Ms. Chapin, “that the AAP is blind to the mounting worldwide movement against the genital cutting of boys. This American physician organization is disregarding the risks and harms of the procedure. It also is ignoring the fact that circumcision is rare in Europe, with no negative health consequences, and that European politicians and physician groups—in increasing numbers—are calling for doctors to refuse to perform the procedure, on the basis that it is harmful and violates children’s rights and bodies. In its selective blindness, the AAP has failed to put the wellbeing of the infants and children it is supposed to protect ahead of that organization’s cultural bias and interest in perpetrating a medically unnecessary, harmful, and unethical practice.”

About Intact America
Intact America was formed in 2008 to change the way America thinks about neonatal male circumcision. Intact America believes that painful and medically unnecessary surgery to remove healthy genital tissue from non-consenting baby boys violates medical ethics and human rights. Intact America is based in Tarrytown, N.Y. Visit Intact America at, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

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