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NCFM PR Director Steven Svoboda, Esq. letter to National Post and Slate re horrific circumcision article

October 3, 2013

circumcisionNCFM NOTE: On September 22,¬†Mr. Svoboda¬†sent a letter to¬†Canada’s leading newspaper, the¬†National Post, and to Slate, in response to Mark Joseph Stern’s horrific article, “‘Intactivists’ Against Circumcision.” Below is the text of the letter.¬†The letter¬†sent to Slate is virtually identical.

We need to let children reach the age of majority and let them decide whether circumcision is right for them.


There are facts about circumcision ‚ÄĒ but you won‚Äôt be able to learn any of them from Mark Joseph Stern in his article for the National Post (‚Äú‚ÄėIntactivists‚Äô Against Circumcision, September 19). Instead you will find an astonishing compilation of outright falsehoods about thousands of dedicated, unpaid volunteers from many walks of life who are working to protect children from an unnecessary and irreversible surgery that many of them grow up to resent.

Far from dismissing science, individuals committed to protecting children include leading scientists, pediatricians, public health researchers, and medical ethicists in countries around the world. Recently a team of 38 European scientists wrote in Pediatrics¬†that the only possible medical justification for circumcision is reducing urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are not only rare for boys, but can be effectively treated with antibiotics‚ÄĒjust as they are for girls.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics‚ÄĒwhich has been criticized by these same experts for having a pro-circumcision bias‚ÄĒagrees that medicine does not justify¬†routine circumcision. The Royal Dutch Medical Association found in 2010 that the foreskin is ‚Äúa complex, erotogenic¬†structure that plays an important role‚ÄĚ in sex, concluding that ‚Äúcircumcision of male minors is a violation of children‚Äôs rights to autonomy and physical integrity.‚ÄĚ

In 2011, a paper by Frisch in the Oxford International Journal of Epidemiology found that ‚Äúcircumcision was associated with frequent orgasm difficulties in Danish men and with a range of circumcisionfrequent sexual difficulties in women‚Ķ‚ÄĚ That same year, the Journal of Law and Medicine published a detailed survey of the numerous fatal flaws in the African trials that purported to support male circumcision as a preventive measure against HIV infection. Simply put, empirical data does not support the proposition that circumcision improves child health outcomes.

Far from being the concern of ‚Äúfringe‚ÄĚ activists, circumcision has caught the attention of renowned experts in child welfare and human rights. The Journal of Medical Ethics, the world‚Äôs top journal in medical ethics, recently published a special issue on circumcision including several articles by leading scholars who are opposed¬†to the nonconsensual removal of healthy, erogenous tissue from children‚Äôs genitals.

‚ÄúIntactivists‚ÄĚ are winning because more and more people are investigating the issue for themselves and are coming to realize that a pre-Enlightenment religious ritual has no business masquerading as medicine in the 21st¬†Century. Countless men are extremely dissatisfied that a part of their body was taken away from them without their consent.

The false information and worst ideas mentioned by Stern are in fact coming from him and, sadly, from one of Canada’s premier newspapers.

J. Steven Svoboda

Executive Director

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
national coalition for men

Thousands of boys die or suffer serious consequences every year from botched circumcision.

What’s wrong with letting boys make their own decision when they reach adulthood. It’s their penis. Shouldn’t¬†circumcision be their choice?

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2 Responses to NCFM PR Director Steven Svoboda, Esq. letter to National Post and Slate re horrific circumcision article

  1. Gary Costanza on November 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM
  2. Partridge on October 4, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Perhaps Mr Stern’s religious beliefs have a connection with his views on circumcision? I shall pray for his enlightenment..

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