Intactivists of Australasia
As I paced the hallways while waiting for my daughter to recover from her surgery at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, Sydney, I read a poster on the wall which outlined the hospital’s policies around it’s care for its patients.
I was reassured to read a number of points in relation to the quality of care that the hospital promised. In particular, I was pleased to read a point which was highlighting the right of bodily autonomy. While I can’t remember the exact wording, I recall that it was something like this:
“Children’s bodies are their own.”
Infant circumcision for non-medical reasons was banned in public hospitals in 1997, and as the Sydney Children’s Hospital is a public hospital there should be no non-therapeutic circumcisions being performed there. However, the doctors who practise there can easily bypass this ban by operating out of one of the private clinics surrounding the hospital. I wondered how many…
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Intactivists of Australasia
An intactivist protester at Oprah Winfrey’s show in Adelaide tonight was apparently shut down by police only 2 minutes after arriving.
The man was objecting to Oprah Winfrey’s endorsements of a face cream derived from human foreskin.
A hand-written sign held up to crowds outside the Entertainment Centre read:
“Foreskin Facecream Oprah’s Shame”
He was apparently threatened with arrest, although the police could not provide information on the details of the charge, so he was allowed to leave with his sign tossed onto the footpath.
We understand this was the first anti-genital mutilation protest to be held in Adelaide. A facebook post of the short-lived encounter has been met with support, and generated interest in organising a larger protest in the future.
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Intactivists of Australasia
On 22 February this year Bendigo councillor Elise Chapman tweeted a photo in what has been largely interpreted as an attempt to highlight the issue of female genital mutilation, and to make a tenuous link between the practice and the proposed development of a mosque in her area.
The Councillor has been a vocal objector the mosque since a proposal for it’s development was approved by Bendigo City Council last June.
The tweet, which can be seen below, was in response to a tweet to her from a supporter of the proposal to build the mosque.
If by tweeting this photo Councillor Chapman was attempting to highlight a disturbing cultural tradition, then we agree. These customs and traditions have no place in any modern society. Although as far as we are aware, there is no evidence to suggest that anyone involved with the proposed mosque practices or supports female genital mutilation.
What the media…
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The recent decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to endorse circumcision as a prophylactic measure against disease has once again drawn media attention to America’s most controversial surgery. In draft guidelines issued in December, the CDC emphasized that the most up-to-date medical science indicates clear health benefits of circumcision—including a 50%-60% reduced risk of female-to-male HIV transmission, a 30% reduced risk of transmission of the human papilloma virus (HPV), and lower risk of urinary tract infections during infancy. On the basis of these data, the CDC is recommending that health care workers counsel uncircumcised adolescent boys and men, as well as the parents of newborn males, on the potential benefits and risks of circumcision. The guidelines are currently undergoing a 45-day review period, during which the CDC is actively soliciting feedback.
According to the CDC, roughly 80% of American men are circumcised.
The CDC guidelines follow similar…
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Intactivists of Australasia
Last month, Australian doctor, TV medical commentator and former ‘The Block’ winner Dr Andrew Rochford presented a report on circumcision on Channel 7’s news ‘The Healthy Truth’ segment, which was also packaged as a story on ‘Today Tonight’ in Adelaide.
The sentiments expressed in this latest report were significantly different to those expressed in Dr Rochford’s piece on circumcision on Channel 10’s ‘The Project’ in 2010.
This earlier report was in response to the publication of a journal article which suggested that circumcision should be promoted to lower the rate of HIV transmission in Australia. Much of the TV report showed the doctor repeating the opinions expressed by others, with most statements prefaced with phrases such as ‘some people believe’ or ‘some experts claim’.
Comments on the report on the station’s website and social media sites quickly highlighted the fallacies in many of those opinions, including the following:
– A number of issues with the African…
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We all know that cutting a baby girl’s genitals is mutilation, but why is it that some are now saying that cutting a baby boy’s genitals is mutilation as well? Can we use gender alone to determine what is ‘mutilation’ and what is ‘circumcision’?
The Practical Ethics blog from Oxford University explores this issue. Read the blog post here.
Is circumcision a surgery best performed in infancy? If he’s going to get it done, isn’t it better done sooner rather than later? The WHOLE Network answers your questions.
Many parents believe that circumcising their son in infancy is a kindness. They assume getting it done sooner will save him the pain of having to endure the procedure later on in life, but what we’ve found is that the opposite is true.
Danish physicians declare that circumcision without medical indication is mutilation.
Just a Snip - against genital mutilation aka circumcision
Circumcision without medical indication is mutilation. The message from the Danish Society of Family Physicians is unmistakable: electory surgery on non-consenting minors must end.
The statement has been put forward in connection with a hearing by the Danish National Board of Health about guidelines regarding circumcision of minors.
The full wording is: “The National Board of Health has sent Guidelines Regarding Circumcision of Boys into hearing. DSAM (Danish Society of Family Physicians) has debated the issue and agreed that circumcision may only be performed when medical indication is present. Circumcision in the absence of a medical indication is mutilation.”
The stance against circumcision from DSAM is the latest in a series of clear statements from respected Danish and Scandinavian organisations.
Soon the Danish National Parliament will have no option than to ban genital mutilation of healthy boys. Adults who understands the consequences and risks regarding the procedure should of course…
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“A lot of people think it’s easier to keep a circumcised penis clean, but it’s actually not. With a circumcised penis, you have a post-surgical circumcision wound in a dirty diaper. You have to worry about keeping that clean, pulling the remaining foreskin back so it won’t readhere, applying vaseline so the raw skin won’t stick to the diaper, watching for infection, watching for adhesions and skin bridges, meatal stenosis…. the list goes on. You don’t have to do any of that with an intact baby. You just wipe and you’re done! No need to pull anything back. Parents who have both intact and circumcised sons in the home report that intact boys are hands down the easier of the two to keep clean.”
~ The Whole Network
Read more about post-circumcision care…
During my first pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with joy when I found out that there was a little boy in my belly. Like many ‘mamas-to-be’, I instantly fell in love and spent my days (and nights) dreaming about him. As the months passed by, I began to plan for his arrival: washing and hanging all of his tiny clothes, picking out the softest blankets I could find, figuring out what breast pump would be best. I wanted to be prepared for every little detail. When I began to make plans for the birth itself, I thought about what would happen on the day of his birth, and circumcision crossed my mind.