• Home
  • Our Story
  • Our Team
  • Initiatives
  • Blog
  • Events
  • Support Us
  • Donate

IOTM – Penn Jillette

APRIL 2011: Penn Jillette, the talkative half of the famous magic/comedy/illusion duo Penn & Teller, is a staunch supporter of the right of baby boys to genital integrity. He has spoken out against circumcision very publicy, both in his television show “Bullshit!” (which includes an interview with NOCIRC founder Marilyn Milos), as well as in his video channel, Penn Says.

In his “We’re Still Right About Circumcision” video (see below), Penn states his reasons for keeping his son intact, speaking openly, honestly, and from the heart. His frank outspokenness on the issue has resonated with thousands of viewers, and it inspired Intact America’s “Put Down The Knife!” advocacy campaign, aimed at the thousands of pediatricians, family physicians, and obstetricians who still perform circumcisions in this country every day.

“The rate of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases does not mean you can cut part of the body off an infant,” says Penn, responding to a study claiming that circumcision can reduce the risk of herpes and HIV in sexually active men in Africa.”I guess that means that right now, if our son is sexually active in Africa, without a condom, he’s increased his chances of herpes and HIV… We’re talking about 2020-something before he’s sexually active, and we don’t know that it’s going to be in Africa.” Rightly so, Penn likens circumcision as a preventative measure to chopping off two fingers to prevent the spread of colds (from picking noses).

We at Intact America applaud Penn for his courage in defending the rights of baby boys, giving a very public voice to those who have none. His argument ends with the issue of choice: “Shouldn’t our son have the choice whether he wants to wear a condom or cut off part of his d**k? Put down the knife. Step away from the baby.”

[sc name=”IOTM”]



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.