Protestors in Royal Oak March against Circumcision

Protestors in Royal Oak March against Circumcisionctechad

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 17, 2014)

Visitors to Beaumont Hospital on Saturday may have gotten an unexpected lesson in penis flesh thanks to protestors from NOCIRC of Michigan. The Birmingham-based group’s mission is to educate the public about circumcision and to encourage parents not to have the procedure. They are part of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC) founded in 1986.

Approximately 50 people came out to demonstrate for the cause, some more graphically than others. But the fact is, it can be a painful subject.

Circumcision is a tradition that persists in the United States and Canada due to societal norms or religious modern natural baby inprogressbeliefs, but worldwide, including most of Europe, the practice is not considered routine. Estimates show that only between 25-33% of men around the world are circumcised.  The numbers are decreasing everywhere except for Africa, where the practice correlates with a decrease in HIV infections. (There are conflicting studies about the effectiveness of circumcision on HIV, but most “intact” advocates point out that the decrease of HIV in Africa also correlates with increased prevention and treatment, not just circumcision.)

“Cutting off normal tissue is not a legitimate form of disease prevention,” says Norm Cohen, state director of NOCIRC of Michigan. “Cutting off any other normal part of the body would simply be considered crazy. Circumcision is the only surgery performed on children without a diagnosis. It violates their right to bodily integrity.”

“Circumcision is as harmful as it is unnecessary,” says Robert Van Howe MD, Professor and InterimReid_Sally_115 Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Central Michigan University College of Medicine. “Leave your son alone. He will thank you later.”

Cohen adds, “There are no extra parts on a boy’s body. Every part of his body has a normal function. Doctors and hospitals profit by perpetuating the myth that circumcision is health care.”

According to the US Department of Health, circumcision rates vary widely across the country. In 2009, the Midwest had a 75% circumcision rate among baby boys that year. In the West, the rate is only 25%. The South had a rate of 56%. Looking at the data by state, Nevada had only 12% and Washington had 15%. The state with the highest rate of circumcision was West Virginia, with a rate of 87%. Michigan came in second highest, with a rate of 86%.

NOCIRC says that in Michigan the healthcare cost is over $11 million per year, including 21,000 circumcisions sidebar016growthat are funded through Medicaid. “We hope to inform and inspire parents and health care providers to say no to circumcision and yes to normal genitals,” says Cohen.

Intact America lists ten reasons for not having a baby circumcised, which are explained in detail on their website. The reasons they give are (1) Because there is no medical reason for “routine” circumcision of baby boys, (2) Because the foreskin is not a birth defect, (3) Because you wouldn’t circumcise your baby girl, (4) Because your baby does not want to be circumcised, (5) Because removing part of a baby’s penis is painful, risky, and harmful, (6) Because times and attitudes have changed. The circumcision rate in the United States is now below 40% (and much lower in some parts of the country), down from 81% in 1981, (7) Because most medically advanced nations do not circumcise baby boys, (8) Because caring for and cleaning the foreskin is easy, (9) Because circumcision does not prevent HIV or other diseases, and (10) Because children should be protected.

Beaumont Hospital Media Relations contact Bob Ortlieb said “At Beaumont Children’s Hospital, the decision to circumcise a child is left to the child’s parents- taking into account their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs. We encourage families to thoughtfully discuss options with their care providers.

Beaumont supports the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on newborn male circumcision. This policy found the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, but are not great enough to recommend universal circumcision.”

Beaumont’s website has a page dedicated to circumcision at http://www.beaumontchildrenshospital.com/advice/circumcision. The page gives care advice for parents with circumcised and uncircumcised babies, and it states that the The American Academy of Pediatrics seed11_monte_albert(AAP) “found scientific evidence that there are potential medical benefits of newborn circumcision. However, the AAP did not find enough information to recommend circumcision for all babies as a routine procedure. The AAP recommends that parents should be given information on the benefits and risks of newborn circumcision and that parents should decide what is best for their baby.”

For more information, check out:

http://www.beaumontchildrenshospital.com/advice/circumcision

http://www.nocircofmi.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision

http://www.intactamerica.org/resources/decision

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