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Stop Male Genital Mutilation: Circumcision is Unnecessary, Painful, and Costly

Stop Male Genital Mutilation: Circumcision is Unnecessary, Painful, and Costly

The most common surgical procedure in America, circumcision, is unnecessary, yet millions of newborn boys are still circumcised each year.

My oldest son was circumcised at birth, partly because we didn’t know any better, and partly because I wanted him to ‘be like me’ (”it’s normal, everyone does it”). I decided that I would accompany him and be with him during the process because I needed to know what it entailed, and after witnessing his birth and holding his tiny body to my chest, filled with love and awe at this miracle, I couldn’t let him be taken behind closed doors to have surgery without me.

I’m so grateful that I went with him. Not because I could do anything to comfort him or bond with him, but because my eyes were opened to the trauma inflicted on me and on him (and all other cut men) by the barbaric practice of circumcision.

It was a horrible thing to watch.

His little legs, instead of being tucked up under him as in the womb, were stretched out straight and strapped to the table. Then the doctor casually began the process by fitting the circumcision guide over the tiny newborn penis, making small talk with me while my son wailed in protest at being strapped down to a cold plastic table.

As soon as the doctor began cutting his foreskin off, my son’s screams reached peak volume and all I could do was hold his hand and try to comfort him with my voice. But I didn’t feel like I could stop the doctor halfway through, so he finished as my son went into shock, his tiny body limp and with a traumatized look on his face. (See this circumcision video).

I still have nightmares about that, and wonder what the psychological toll is for a newborn baby boy during and after circumcision. His most sensitive parts were removed in a traumatic surgery the day of his birth, and it must color his perception of his genitals for the rest of his life.

So why do we still routinely circumcise newborn boys?

It turns out that a number of myths prevail in the minds of those advocating circumcision, myths that are false. And those parents who don’t question the myths will usually end up having their son circumcised.

Some myths behind circumcision:

Myth – Circumcision is routinely recommended and endorsed by doctors and other health professionals. 

Fact -  No professional medical association in the United States or anywhere else in the world recommends routine circumcision as a medically necessary procedure. The American Medical Association calls it “non-therapeutic.” At no time in its 75 years has the American Academy of Pediatrics ever recommended infant circumcision.
Myth – Circumcising newborn baby boys produces health benefits in later life.

Fact – Despite common perception, there is NO conclusive link between circumcision and better health. In fact, performing medically unnecessary surgery on a baby boy’s genitals creates immediate health risks. Circumcision-related risks include infection, hemorrhage, scarring, loss of part or all of the penis, and even death. These dangers exist in even the best clinical settings.
MythMale circumcision helps prevent HIV.
Fact – Only abstinence or the use of condoms can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Moreover, condom usage protects women as well as men. Even if circumcision were effective for preventing disease, removing part of a baby boy’s penis at birth to prevent the potential for disease in the future makes no more sense than “routinely” removing healthy gall bladders at birth to prevent the potential for gall stones in later life, or removing healthy teeth to prevent dental caries.

Right now, a move is being made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to recommend circumcision for all newborn boys based on flawed studies that ignore the risks and ethics of circumcision.

Intact America wants to make sure that won’t happen, and are gathering petition petition signatures and sending this letter to the CDC:

“As the foremost expert on public health in our country, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a responsibility to share the truth about public health issues that can affect millions of Americans.

Newborn male circumcision is the most common surgical procedure in the U.S. – yet this painful and unnecessary surgery carries serious risks, including hemorrhage, infection, surgical mishap and death.

The role of circumcision in preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other health claims has been investigated by public health researchers and remains highly debatable. Only safe sexual practices, such as the use of condoms and abstinence, can prevent STDs, including HIV/AIDS. Circumcision cannot be responsibly recommended as a way of preventing disease.”

Help today by signing the petition: Circumcision is a Painful, Costly and Unnecessary Procedure

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233 comments

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4:22PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

This is from Leticia F.'s care2 page:
What I Want to Do: Preserve our cultural heritage in PR, stop women and child abuse
Causes: Violence against Children, Womens Rights

Considering what what she thinks about Genital Mutilation AKA Circumcisionshe seems to be a hypocrite! Maybe she is ignorant of what she professes.

4:11PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Leticia F., I used 'Google Translate' to translate your insult to English.
"Realmente eres un pendejo que no sabe que hacer con su vida"[Spanish].
"You really are an idiot who does not know what to do with his life"[English].
Did you think that was clever of you? Was that an attempt at being passive aggressive?

3:45PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Leticia F., So you think your a lady? You must think that child mutilation and wishing myself killed you my opinion makes you a lady, 'think again'! A lady or lord are those that have sovereignty. However, a gentleman or a gentlewoman are those that don't yous force vileness or threats. So, do you think forcing surgery on children and in particular a newborn for a fashion choice that should be his only, can be gentle, proper, or morel? I'll tell you that it is not! Be less concerned with the boys of others. And, please realize that nonviolence and respect for the life, body, and property of others with mutual respect is a beater way to live with others. Don't wish to dominate others!

3:35AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

Bill C., I understand your point of view. However life itself is full of risks, you take risks all the time. Same with this when it comes to parents decisions. If a baby was made to take decisions on their own they did not need a parent.
Robert W. your comment has already been sent to the administrator of Care 2 because apparently you don't know how to differ from people without being disrespectful. Why don't you go and live in North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba? That way you can be insulted and probably killed if you say your opinion. I am a lady and I have 0 tolerance for desrespectful people like you. Realmente eres un pendejo que no sabe que hacer con su vida.

5:23PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

I do want to say there have been accidents in which the entire penis has been cut off. As with all surgery there are accidents. The doctor or individual doing this might have been drunk, on medication, under-slept, or incompetent. Those who have experienced this are embarrassed and want privacy when they are older and aware what was done. Of course the parents can not redo this decision. Many times they are raised as girls with hormone treatments as a penis is difficult to reconstruct. They can not father children nor birth children as their bodies are male with not penis. A few have written about this on the web. Victims of this sort are ashamed, and obviously do not want to come forward as some elements of our society would ridicule them and there is nothing they can do about it except live in hiding.. So sad...

3:06PM PST on Jan 10, 2012

Leticia F., Your comment was so outrageous I had to respond. You complained about people telling you how to live your life you how to live your life. you must understand the life you spoke of is 'not' your own! it is wrong and only a pervert would feel justified to decide to surgically alter a child because of a sexual fetish. It is my wish that your comments on this site is taken as a action of child abuse! A sick bitch, such as yourself, does 'not' deserve to raise a child!

12:15PM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Leticia F., agree with you!

10:51AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

This "blog" is 2 ys old, obvious its a failed petition as its deadline is also over a year old.

There have not been "numerous" accidents where the penis is cut off (not in America and the blog is about America), pure embellished BS

Waste of time

9:45AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

I just wanted to respond to the previous comment. I realize there are women who prefer circumcise their male child as there are those who prefer to circumcise their female daughters. And this is being done. But this is wrong. Any operation involves risks and there have been numerous "accidents" where the penis is cut off and modifications need to be made, the child being violated, never being whole again..

7:39AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

thanks

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