Mentioned in Hansard?

Our demonstration in Parliament Square for International Men’s Day attracted a lot of attention. A debate inside the House on male suicide resulted in Male Genital Mutilation being mentioned in the Commons. At the end of his speech opening the debate Philip Davies said this:-

There are so many other areas where men are being discriminated against, or are suffering more than women. Unfortunately, I cannot go through them all now. If they are not raised by other Members today, I hope we will have similar debates in the future, so that I can highlight the further problems faced by men. Some of the issues that I do not have time to get to include: male circumcision and its effects on some men; the fact that men suffer from anorexia and bulimia, too; the health effects of men not seeking help early enough to prevent their conditions from getting worse; the fact that men tend to live shorter lives than women; and the fact that boys underachieve in school.

We had a lot of support from Justice for Men and Boys (and the women who love them) and representatives from, 15square, Healing Men and others working with men and boys. Thank you to all who turned out and braved the weather, it never really got dry or light!

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Comment on the CDC draft guidelines on circumcision

Please take the time to read up on these guidelines and use this link to post your comment to the CDC. This is a link to the published guidelines from the CDC.

Critiques of the CDC guidelines can be found here by Brian Earp and here from Intact America. It is important that we respond and add as many unique comments in response to these guidelines as many countries use the American medical establishment’s stance on cutting the genitals of boys as a justification for the continuation of this anachronistic practice.

US lawyers fight for boys human rights

DSC_0018-crop219wAttorneys for the Rights of the Child – ARC – issued a press release today, December 3rd 2014, in response to the December 2nd release from the  for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC – of a draft of proposed circumcision guidelines.  The press release can be accessed at PRWeb. The text of the release is reproduced below.

Steven Svoboda Attorneys for the Rights of the Child Pictured left has started what must become a flood of responses to the CDC’s draft guidelines. Intact America are going to organise a quick link to allow supporters to post comments. As soon as we have more on this we will make it available.

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child Preparing Response to Today’s Draft Circumcision Regulations Released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); CDC Ignoring Medical Evidence and Growing International Opposition

Berkeley, CA – The human rights organization Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) (www.arclaw.org) is preparing a response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding its release on December 2, 2014 of a draft of proposed circumcision guidelines.

J. Steven Svoboda, ARC’s Executive Director, commented today, “Sadly, the CDC has chosen to ignore the medical evidence to try to justify an outmoded and painful cultural—not medical—practice. In these days of constantly mounting medical costs and ever scarcer resources, we simply cannot afford to continue supporting and performing a harmful and antiquated procedure.”

Regarding the CDC’s claim that circumcision’s benefits outweigh the risks, Svoboda commented, “The CDC omitted the functions of the amputated tissue. If the CDC advocates for cutting off a body part, shouldn’t we know what that body part does?”

Svoboda commented, “If circumcision is as desirable as the CDC suggests, why are European countries moving towards banning it, why are their males healthier than Americans, and why does the CDC not come out and recommend it?”  By the CDC’s own admission, Americans are increasingly choosing to leave their sons intact, as circumcision rates have plunged in recent years.

Svoboda added, “A recent study (Bossio, Int’l Society for Sexual Medicine 2014) concluded that the literature favoring circumcision contains considerable gaps, lacks rigor and is largely not applicable to North America.” Studies of HIV in adult males in Africa suffer from methodological and statistical errors and even if valid, given vast differences in health conditions and modes of transmission, the results can hardly be applied to justify infant male circumcision in the United States.  “Doctors cannot ethically remove tissue from babies without consent, based on speculation about their possible sexual behavior decades later,” Svoboda added.

“Male circumcision,” Svoboda said, “violates a child’s right to bodily integrity, not to mention numerous civil and criminal statutes.”  Malpractice awards are mounting up; a list of seventy such cases were released by ARC, the largest amounts to 22.8 million dollars (Antonio Willis v. Northside Hospital Atlanta, March 1991).

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Attorneys for the Rights of the Child is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to protect children from unnecessary medical procedures to which they do not consent.

Petition

What we are asking for with the petition that will be delivered to Downing Street is equal protection from what is an assault, a cut without a medical imperative is quite clearly actual bodily harm. There is no reason to claim that female circumcision is the same as male circumcision and the fact that there are differences should not be allowed to stifle any criticism male circumcision.

The legislation that prohibits female circumcision “The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003” through the mechanism of it’s name seeks to undermine the rights of males to equal protection from unnecessary genital cutting. The Act fails to protect girls because it leaves room for the parents to argue that “cutting is in our culture and you let us cut our boys”.

The Act is extremely careful in it’s wording to avoid any comparison or equivalence between the sexes. In defining the nature of an offence it states the following;

A person is guilty of an offence if he excises, infibulates or otherwise mutilates the whole or any part of a girl’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.

This careful phrasing avoids any possible reference to male anatomy although the clitoris does have a prepuce or foreskin. The fact that the tissues involved have common origins is ignored. The fact that the tissues involved have similar functions is ignored. Every possible care is taken to create difference and ignore equivalence.

There is a valid demand that men should make of the authorities and it is that boys and men are afforded the same protection afforded to girls and women; namely that it is illegal for any one to draw even a single drop of blood from a girl’s genitals without a medical necessity, in the legislation that protects females there are no clauses allowing different cultures or belief systems to alter or cut a girl’s genitals in any manner.

Men and boys are asking for an equal opportunity to grow up able to enjoy a full sex life. Legislation that is designed to protect females will be effective when we stop favouring one gender and treat all children equally regardless of cultural background or parental belief.

Spending on cuts

In the current round of spending cuts it seems that our elected representatives are still spending at least six million pounds of our money every year on surgery that children do not need or want.

Houses of Parliament

It is a very poor argument for the health service to say that if they do not offer a circumcision service to parents children will be exposed to greater harm by being circumcised in the community. Firstly this argument could be used to justify all sorts of other non-therapeutic procedures; scarification of children’s faces springs to mind. Secondly the N.H.S. was set up to care for patients with therapeutic needs it was not set up to gratify the wishes of parents however strong those wishes might be.

So write to your M.P. and complain. Click here to locate your M.P.