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Intact America tells AAP to protect all children from genital harm



Tarrytown, NY—September 29, 2010

The founder and director of Intact America, an organization which has been campaigning to change the way America thinks about male circumcision, today demanded that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledge the Centers for Disease Control’s recent report showing a U.S. circumcision rate of only 33% in 2009, and refuse to endorse the genital cutting of children.

The AAP, which is meeting in San Francisco October 1–5 for its annual conference, is currently reviewing its stance on neonatal circumcision, and its Task Force on Circumcision is expected to publish new recommendations within the next several months. “Now, with more than 60 percent of baby boys being left intact, and more and more Americans unable to afford even the most necessary medical care, we cannot understand how the AAP could come out in favor of this useless surgery,” said Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America.

Intact America will be on-site at the AAP conference to meet with AAP officials and to remind them that the majority of American parents are now choosing to keep their sons intact. At Intact America’s booth, doctors will be able to get information about the ethical considerations and medical risks associated with infant circumcision, still the most commonly performed surgery in the United States.

“The paradigm in this country is shifting,” said Chapin. “More and more parents understand that circumcision is unethical and wrong. It’s time America’s pediatricians realized this, too.”

Earlier this year, Intact America blasted the AAP’s call to legalize a form of female genital cutting, a practice currently outlawed in this country and internationally acknowledged as genital mutilation linked to the oppression of girls and women. After thousands of emails in protest were delivered to the AAP’s offices via a campaign on the Intact America website, the AAP backed down and retracted its statement.

Intact America believes the same human right to an intact body that currently extends to girls should be extended to boys. No reputable medical authority currently recommends routine neonatal male circumcision, which the American Medical Association calls “non-therapeutic.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has formed a Task Force on Circumcision, which is currently reconsidering the AAP’s neutral stance on neonatal male circumcision. The Task Force’s charge apparently arose after African studies among consenting adult men purportedly showed that circumcision may play a role in mitigating HIV transmission from women to men – though not from men to women, nor from men to men (the latter still being the most prevalent modality for sexual transmission of HIV in the United States). Chapin noted that these studies were fraught with methodological and ethical problems. “Even if the results are valid for adults in poor countries with very high HIV prevalence, there is no evidence that circumcising unconsenting babies in the United States, where the HIV infection rate is relatively low and routes of transmission are different, will prevent HIV,” said Chapin.



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.