Founded in 2008 by a group of like-minded individuals and organizations, and with funding from a private donor, Intact America is the largest professional organization in the world advocating for children’s rights to an intact body. This is our timeline.
Intact America counts among its supporters and advisors many long-time intactivists and thousands of newcomers join our cause each year. Together we are committed to protecting all babies and children—male, female, and intersex—from forced genital cutting. Our efforts to change how America thinks about male child genital cutting in particular are evident by our major accomplishments, from our founding and every year since.
Intact.gay Website Launched
Intact America’s third and newest companion website, Intact.gay, launched. The site answers the questions we most often hear at Pride.
Genital Autonomy America, formerly the National Organizations of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NoCirc), merged with Intact America. NoCirc’s founder, Marilyn Milos, RN, joins IA’s board of directors.
MCGC Solicitation Survey
Intact America conducted the first-ever survey investigating the solicitation of newborn circumcision. The national, random-sample survey revealed that such “selling” of this unnecessary practice increased uptake 173% and that mothers where solicited an average of eight times. The survey also revealed that the first few solicitations were the most “effective” at selling to procedure. [Press Release]
Intact America refreshes its website with all new content and incorporates our blog. The relaunched website includes changes to navigation and structure, and is mobile friendly. Hosted on cloud servers and using a robust platform with advanced features, the website will serve Intact America and its supporters for many years to come.
International Conference on Men’s Issues
Intact America exhibits at the 5th annual three-day International Conference on Men’s Issues held this year in Chicago. This was our first official foray into the greater men’s issues community. Many of the presentations covered male child genital cutting (a.k.a circumcision). Our presence was well received and greatly appreciated by attendees and speakers.
Intact America proposes that child genital cutting (including circumcision) be added to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) questionnaire. The initiative includes a new website and apps with revised auto-scoring quiz substantiated by our white paper.
Intact America participates for the 10th year in the NYC Pride celebration, the largest in the world. Intact America distributes nearly 10,000 flyers, foreskin fact cards, stickers and “Foreskin Pride” condoms at its double booth at NYC Pridefest.
3rd National Public Opinion Survey
Public support increases to 15.7 percent! Once again, Intact America conducted a random-sample survey of Americans regarding their opinions and knowledge of genital cutting. Public support for the position: “All baby boys should remain intact (not circumcised)” is gaining traction, indicating that we are moving toward a tipping point.
Intact America Condemns State Legislatures
Intact America issues strongly worded statements and press releases concerning the unconstitutionality of bills introduced in California, Connecticut, Iowa, and Washington prohibiting female genital cutting. These bills violate their state constitution’s equal protection clauses. Iowa also introduced a bill protecting intersex children from genital cutting, making Iowa uniquely sexist.
Georganne Chapin prominently shown in documentary
The game-changing documentary “American Circumcision” by Brendon Marotta features pro and con interviews including Intact America’s executive director. The response has been nothing less than phenomenal. With the documentary now on Netflix, we have seen scores of individuals requesting Intact America’s e-newsletter, writing to ask questions about our organization, sharing their stories, and wanting to become more involved.
Intact America distributes nearly 10,000 flyers, foreskin fact cards, stickers and “Foreskin Pride” condoms at its double booth at NYC Pridefest.
2nd National Public Opinion Survey
Intact America conducts a second national survey on Americans’ attitudes toward circumcision, which shows that 14 percent of Americans now agree with that statement “baby boys should be kept intact”—an increase of four percentage points since Intact America’s original survey was conducted in 2014.
MADE to STICK Campaign Launched
Intact America launches a foreskin protection campaign after learning 2 out of 5 boys are being forcibly retracted.
Forcible Foreskin Retraction Survey
Intact America conducts a nationwide, random-sample survey revealing 43.3 percent of intact boys have had their foreskins needlessly and forcibly retracted at least once by the age of seven.
Intact America launches CircumcisionDebate.org—an entry-level website designed to inform and persuade newcomers to the circumcision question. A companion Facebook page is also set up, along with a press release.
Foreskin Frank Debut
IA introduces Foreskin Frank at NYC Pride, proclaiming “the foreskin is out of the closet!” The 6-foot intact penis with working foreskin was an instant hit at our PrideFest booth.
50,000 Facebook Followers!
The number of followers on Intact America’s main Facebook page surpasses 50,000!
Tipping Point Strategy Published
Intact America publishes a white paper explaining the organization’s strategic focus on reaching a “tipping point” and describing how this strategy and our tactics differ from (and complement) individual education efforts by other intactivist organizations.
4th Summit Meeting
The Chicago summit meeting focused on IA’s strategic narrative. All eighteen attendees completed a comprehensive strategic narrative survey based on the work of the Center for Story-Based Strategy.
NYC Pride Float
After eight years marching in NYC Pride, Intact America launches the “Foreskin Pride” campaign with a large float traveling down Fifth Avenue seen by millions of bystanders.
#EndThePain AAP Petition
Intact America launches a campaign to tell the AAP to #EndThePain, after a Pediatrics journal article describes the long-term negative consequences of neonatal pain and calls for doctors and hospitals to reduce unnecessary painful procedures on babies. Intact America gathers more than 10,000 signatures on a petition to the AAP, making several attempts to meet with AAP executives in order to discuss and deliver the petition. Finally, the petition signatures are shipped to AAP’s office in suburban Chicago, and Intact America holds a press conference at the AAP 2016 annual meeting.
12,000 U.S. Pediatric Urologists Warned
Intact America mails letters to 12,000 American pediatric urologists to both inform them of the dangers of circumcision and warn them of the legal ramifications should they circumcise this Florida boy. (Sadly, the father prevails and the child is circumcised; however, the story greatly advances public awareness of the harms of circumcision.)
In response to pro-circumcision guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control in tandem with a publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Intact America enlists other intactivist organizations to release a joint statement. The statement reads: : “The CDC exaggerates the benefits of circumcision, minimizes its risks, utterly ignores that functions and benefits of the foreskin, and blithely disregards critical ethical and legal questions regarding the rights of all children to enjoy their normal, natural sex organs.” Without question due to this outcry, the CDC’s guidelines die on the vine.
1,000 Florida Pediatric Urologists Warned
Intact America helps the world understand why a mother would go into hiding with her son to prevent her estranged husband from circumcising their preschooler. Intact America travels to Florida to protest, provides emotional support to Ms. Hironimus, and joins with other intactivist groups to write to 1,000 Florida pediatric urologists to ask them not to perform the surgery should the boy’s father ask them to.
3rd Summit Meeting
Our third national summit meeting is hosted by Georganne Chapin in her Woodstock, New York home. A dozen intactivists attend after reading George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant! The two-day workshop focuses on effectively framing messages. Our “foreskin positive” focus comes out of this meeting and results in our current Foreskin Protection Campaign.
1st National Public Opinion Survey
Intact America commissions a preeminent polling firm, Lake Research Associates, to conduct the first ever national survey on American’s attitudes toward circumcision. Among the findings, that 10% of Americans agree that baby boys should remain intact.
Handouts, Flyers, and Pamphlets
Intact America creates numerous printed and downloadable flyers and pamphlets for a multitude of outreach events and social media.
Experimenting On Newborn Boys – Protest
Intact America organizes a protest at TriHealth Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, demanding that the hospital discontinue an experiment being conducted on newborn boys, comparing the pain and bleeding resulting from two different circumcision devices. Intact America holds a press conference and sponsors a mobile billboard to travel around the city protesting the experiment. The protest garners network news coverage.
ACOG Put On Notice
After Intact America is refused exhibit space at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists convention in New Orleans, the organization organizes a protest at the convention center, publishes ads in the local newspapers, and sponsors a mobile billboard to travel around NOLA to make sure doctors noticed the presence of intactivists.
AAP Report Trashed
Intact America alerts the U.S. media and public that a group of respected doctors and medical ethicists from 17 countries published a rebuttal to the AAP’s 2012 pro-circumcision technical report, calling it culturally biased and out of step with the increasing awareness among doctors and parents that routine infant circumcision is ethically problematic, medically unnecessary, and inherently risky.
Launches “I Did Not Consent” Program
After Intact America is banned from exhibiting at the AAP national convention in New Orleans, IA arrives with a contingent of volunteer demonstrators, launching the “I Did Not Consent” campaign at a public press conference and publishing open letters in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Develops “Dogbone” Placard System
Intact America develops a collapsible placard design for street demonstrations. The set of 24 placards with interchangeable posters have been used in dozens of demonstrations around the country, and carried by hundreds of intactivists.
Slams AAP Circumcision Policy
Intact America begins a media blitz pointing out the errors and inconsistencies in the AAP’s new technical report. “The report presents highly selective information [in order] to promote the benefits of a useless and unethical surgery, and completely ignores the rights of the child to an intact body,” says Georganne Chapin.
2nd Summit Meeting
Our second summit meeting, hosted by Dan Bollinger, was convened at his Indiana home. Sixteen diverse intactivists read Bill Moyer’s book Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements to prepare for an intensive, two-day strategy workshop.
AIDS 2011 Conference
For the third year, Intact America exhibits at the International AIDS Symposium – this year in Rome – telling the truth that circumcision does not prevent HIV/AIDS.
Kicked out of ACOG convention
After being denied a booth inside the exhibit hall of the ACOG convention in New Orleans, IA publishes an open letter in the Washington Post and demonstrates outside the convention center.
“Put Down the Knife” campaign launched
Intact America launches a “Put Down the Knife” campaign, collecting and forwarding nearly 100,000 electronic messages to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), demanding that doctors cease circumcising children who cannot consent.
AIDS 2010 Conference
Exhibits at the AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna, Austria, urging policymakers to halt male circumcision rollout, calling the plan exorbitant, dangerous and unethical.
IA blasts AAP FGM policy
Intact America blasts the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new policy statement calling for doctors to be permitted to inflict a “ritual nick” on little girls’ genitals. As a result of the outcry, the AAP immediately rescinds this recommendation. IA follows with an open letter in the Washington Post, asking the AAP to extend its protection to all children.
Testifies in Massachusetts Senate
Georganne Chapin testifies on behalf of a Massachusetts Senate bill to ban the genital mutilation of boys, and presents 500 written testimonials collected by Intact America, supporting baby boys’ right to remain whole.
25,000 Signatures on CDC Petition
Intact America collects and delivers 25,000 signatures urging the Centers for Disease Control not to recommend neonatal circumcision.
IA booth at AMSA conference
Intact America staffs a booth at the American Medical Students Association convention in Anaheim, California, encouraging future doctors to rethink the practice of circumcision.
Intact America attends a Centers for Disease Control conference on HIV prevention, staffing a booth and sponsoring a mobile billboard to tour downtown Atlanta. The billboard reads: “Circumcising Babies Doesn’t Prevent HIV.”
30 Years of Intactivism
Intact America co-hosts the “Celebrating 30 Years of Intactivism” event in Washington, DC.
Intact America is unveiled
Intact America’s founding is announced at its first press conference. Founding executive director Georganne Chapin says: “Before subjecting their newborn sons to painful, risky and irreversible genital surgery that is medically unnecessary, parents should ask themselves if they would do the same to their daughters.” IA launches a campaign to “Change the way America thinks about circumcision,” a precursor to our tipping-point strategy.
Intact America founded at 1st Summit Meeting
Intact America is officially founded at its inaugural Summit Meeting convened in Tarrytown, New York, comprising a large, diverse assemblage of intactivists. IA’s initial mission, vision and values are hammered out over this two-day meeting.
AIDS 2008 Conference
Nascent Intact America staffs a booth a the AIDS 2008 conference in Mexico City, stating that circumcision programs will be a dangerous distraction in the HIV battle.
4th Aperio meeting
This meeting, hosted by Georganne Chapin in Tarrytown, New York, focused on Intact America’s governance.
3rd Aperio meeting
Aperio leads a smaller meeting, again with the directors of the “big four.” Georganne Chapin hosts the meeting at her corporate offices in Tarrytown, New York. The decision to create a new organization is made at this meeting. Dan Bollinger proposes that it be named Intact America, which is immediately and unanimously approved. Dean Pisani pledges $1 million in seed money.
2nd Aperio meeting
Aperio leads our second meeting in Dallas, Texas, with the “big four” directors, meeting organizer Georganne Chapin, and about a dozen intactivists. During our roundtable discussions it becomes clear that a merger is not possible because of logistical and philosophical reasons, and Aperio recommends that a new organization be founded.
1st Aperio meeting
Directors of the “big four,” along with meeting organizer Georganne Chapin and about a dozen highly motivated intactivists meet in Dallas, Texas, at the offices of who would become Intact America’s angel donor. Aperio, a corporate organizational consultant, leads the meeting. The purpose is to discuss and analyze how these four organizations could work together, perhaps merging into one, large organizationa dvocating for children’s rights.
Smartmeme strategy workshop
Directors of the “big four” intactivist organizations consults with Smartmeme (now Center for Story-Based Strategy) in San Francisco to develop unified messages for the movement. In attendance are meeting organizer Dan Bollinger, ICGI; Steven Svoboda, ARC; Marilyn Milos, NOCIRC; and John Geisheker, DOC. Also attending are Mark Reiss and Georganne Chapin. Smartmeme’s in-depth review of the four organizations reveals that their disparate strategies, tactics, and messages do not present a unified front and are confusing for supporters. This insight paves the way for a revitalization of intactivism.