Thursday, September 6, 2012

Speak out against the AAP

Now is a more important time than ever to speak up if you oppose routine infant circumcision.  The new AAP statement could potentially do a lot of damage to the progress that has been made in reducing the rate of circumcision in the US.  More babies will suffer circumcision and even death as a result of the AAP statement.  There is hope though.  In its infinite wisdom the AAP put out a statement back in 2010 advocating for laws to enable doctors to offer a "ritual nick" to families that wanted to circumcise their daughters.  Fortunately, shortly after its release the backlash against this idea was so great that the AAP backed away from this statement.  We need to create that same kind of backlash through letters, education, and every other kind of activism you can think of.  Here are some ideas to start:

1)   visit Intact America's Website to send a letter to the AAP.

2)    read this NY Times article It's actually a lot more balanced than NPR's coverage of the issue was and probably because of that many doctors have written to the NY Times in an effort to get them to retract parts of the article.  Send a letter to the NY Times of 150 words or less and let them know why you disagree with the AAP policy.  Here's a copy of the letter I wrote to them:


I was shocked and dismayed to hear the AAP had shifted its stance on infant circumcision. 

Regardless of what research the AAP trots out now or at any point in the future infant circumcision will always be unethical.  Circumcision removes healthy tissue that is required for normal sexual function thus forever altering the appearance of the man's sex organs as well as his future sexual experiences.  The AAP report does not consider the dramatic reduction in sexual sensation that circumcision always causes, much less the deaths and other serious complications that can also occur. 

Every child worldwide should have a right to intact genetalia.  No one should have the right to alter a person's sex organs without his/her consent.  As a survivor of circumcision I am angry this was done to me without my consent and I think it is unethical that the AAP supports such a practice.

Jeff Sanger, MFA

3)    Continue to talk to friends and family members that are of child-bearing age or are already pregnant, especially on twitter or facebook where others can view the info as well.  Talk openly about the AAP policy shift and why you disagree.  Direct them to websites and blogs (several good ones are listed on the right) that make it abundantly clear that circumcision is harmful and unethical.

4)    Write a letter to your local newspaper or periodical editor as well expressing your views on the AAP changes and encouraging them to provide local coverage of the issue.

5)    Don't be discouraged by the AAP.  Just GET LOUDER.

 Let's make it clear there are PLENTY of people in the US that disagree with what the AAP is doing.   Shame on them indeed.