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Intact America protests Good Samaritan Hospital’s experimentation on healthy baby boys


Press conference – 11 am, Thursday, October 3, corner of Dixmyth and Clifton Avenues, Cincinnati, OH

Tarrytown, NY—September 30, 2013

On Thursday, October 3, members of Intact America, an organization devoted to ending the practice of routine neonatal circumcision, will be protesting the experimentation on baby boys being carried out at TriHealth Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. They will also be presenting a letter to hospital administrators and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, signed by more than 5,000 supporters demanding that the study be stopped. Their mobile billboard will be traveling throughout the city on October 2 and 3, making the same demand, and a press conference will be held on site Thursday at 11 am.

Scores of volunteers, who call themselves intactivists, will gather on public property at the corner of Dixmyth and Clifton Avenues, near the hospital, hoping to convince Good Samaritan to halt the study that seeks to determine which of two circumcision clamps causes more bleeding and more pain. Protestors charge that the experiment inflicts needless suffering on individuals who cannot consent, and thus constitutes a clear violation of medical ethics, and human rights.

The experiment entitled “Gomco Versus Mogen: Which is Best?” is currently recruiting participants—or rather, persuading parents to enroll their healthy newborn baby boys. More than 200 babies have or will become subjects in the experiment, planned to run through April 2014. Intact America was unable to learn who was funding the research.

Intact America’s mission is in conflict with the researchers’ goals. The children’s rights organization points out that the foreskin is natural, normal tissue; an integral part of the male anatomy, it protects the rest of the penis and plays an important role in sexual pleasure. The organization takes issue with the study’s methodology, which measures, respectively for the two clamps:

  • how much pain the babies feel (as measured by vital signs and facial expression),
  • the amount of bleeding (as measured by “weight of blood soaked gauzes”),
  • the time required for the procedure,
  • parental satisfaction (but not the boy’s satisfaction), and
  • whether any unexpected complications ensue, including infection.

“The removal of healthy, normal genital tissue from an individual who cannot consent is a straightforward human rights abuse,” said Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America. “Informed consent is impossible for babies and young children. When today’s babies become men, they can make their own informed decision about whether they want to remove a part of their own penises.”

For any surgical procedure, including surgery to modify the genitals, medical ethics requires both necessity and informed consent. The most recent circumcision policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stated that the “health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision.” The report repeatedly ceded that the risks of circumcision have not been systematically assessed, but went on to say that that there are benefits to the procedure sufficient to warrant insurance reimbursement. Even this weak assertion was disputed by a follow-up article authored by 37 European and Canadian doctors. This article described the AAP report as rife with “cultural bias.”

Lawyer and activist Christopher Maurer said that practice patterns in the United States are unusual compared to other developed nations. “This feeling that genital cutting is somehow routine or normal is partly generational. But it’s out of step with how we are coming to view the rights of the child.”

The male circumcision rate in the United States is around 50 percent today, having dropped steadily from around 80 percent 30 years ago. In Europe, circumcision rates in most countries are well under 10 percent, and European physician groups and even courts are now calling for doctors to stop performing all child circumcisions that are not medically indicated.

According to the TriHealth website, Good Samaritan is “the oldest and largest private teaching and specialty health care facility in Greater Cincinnati.” A member of Catholic Health Initiatives, the hospital was opened by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati more than 150 years ago.

Intact America (www.intactamerica.org) is the nation’s leading voice against routine neonatal male circumcision. Intact America works to protect babies and children from circumcision and all other forms of medically unnecessary genital alteration. Intact America is based in Tarrytown, N.Y. Visit Intact America at www.intactamerica.org, on Facebook, and on Twitter.



Marilyn Fayre Milos, multiple award winner for her humanitarian work to end routine infant circumcision in the United States and advocating for the rights of infants and children to genital autonomy, has written a warm and compelling memoir of her path to becoming “the founding mother of the intactivist movement.” Needing to support her family as a single mother in the early sixties, Milos taught banjo—having learned to play from Jerry Garcia (later of The Grateful Dead)—and worked as an assistant to comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce, typing out the content of his shows and transcribing court proceedings of his trials for obscenity. After Lenny’s death, she found her voice as an activist as part of the counterculture revolution, living in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco during the 1967 Summer of Love, and honed her organizational skills by creating an alternative education open classroom (still operating) in Marin County. 

After witnessing the pain and trauma of the circumcision of a newborn baby boy when she was a nursing student at Marin College, Milos learned everything she could about why infants were subjected to such brutal surgery. The more she read and discovered, the more convinced she became that circumcision had no medical benefits. As a nurse on the obstetrical unit at Marin General Hospital, she committed to making sure parents understood what circumcision entailed before signing a consent form. Considered an agitator and forced to resign in 1985, she co-founded NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) and began organizing international symposia on circumcision, genital autonomy, and human rights. Milos edited and published the proceedings from the above-mentioned symposia and has written numerous articles in her quest to end circumcision and protect children’s bodily integrity. She currently serves on the board of directors of Intact America.


Georganne Chapin is a healthcare expert, attorney, social justice advocate, and founding executive director of Intact America, the nation’s most influential organization opposing the U.S. medical industry’s penchant for surgically altering the genitals of male children (“circumcision”). Under her leadership, Intact America has definitively documented tactics used by U.S. doctors and healthcare facilities to pathologize the male foreskin, pressure parents into circumcising their sons, and forcibly retract the foreskins of intact boys, creating potentially lifelong, iatrogenic harm. 

Chapin holds a BA in Anthropology from Barnard College, and a Master’s degree in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. For 25 years, she served as president and chief executive officer of Hudson Health Plan, a nonprofit Medicaid insurer in New York’s Hudson Valley. Mid-career, she enrolled in an evening law program, where she explored the legal and ethical issues underlying routine male circumcision, a subject that had interested her since witnessing the aftermath of the surgery conducted on her younger brother. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law in 2003, and was subsequently admitted to the New York Bar. As an adjunct professor, she taught Bioethics and Medicaid and Disability Law at Pace, and Bioethics in Dominican College’s doctoral program for advanced practice nurses.

In 2004, Chapin founded the nonprofit Hudson Center for Health Equity and Quality, a company that designs software and provides consulting services designed to reduce administrative complexities, streamline and integrate data collection and reporting, and enhance access to care for those in need. In 2008, she co-founded Intact America.

Chapin has published many articles and op-ed essays, and has been interviewed on local, national and international television, radio and podcasts about ways the U.S. healthcare system prioritizes profits over people’s basic needs. She cites routine (nontherapeutic) infant circumcision as a prime example of a practice that wastes money and harms boys and the men they will become. This Penis Business: A Memoir is her first book.