Plantation Hospital Circumcision: Don't Clip Foreskins, Keep Em

Categories: Activism
South Florida Intactivists Unite Facebook
Last Thursday morning, drivers motoring down NW 40th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale might have eyeballed an odd sight outside of Plantation Hospital: three protesters waving signs.

Anyone close enough to make out the fine print would have been surprised to see the group wasn't hawking pro-life slogans or any of the other usual street-corner activism. This message? Keep that scalpel away from Junior's wang.

The group marching the pavement was South Florida Intactivists Unite. Since forming in October, the anti-circumcision outfit has made up for small numbers by energetically blitzing local hospitals and baby events all over the area.

To date they've demonstrated at Memorial West Hospital in Pembroke Pines and Miami's Jackson Memorial. The group also bravely posted up right inside unfriendly territory when they hosted a booth at the Miami Children's Expo on December 1.

Their basic pitch is that many of the health benefits trumpeted regarding  circumcision are bunk, and that babies are best left with the extra kin, or "intact" as the movement calls it, according to Veronica Sebrell, one of the group's organizers.

Because it runs counter to years of conventional wisdom -- not to mention it's a topic hot-wired with emotion due to health and religious considerations -- the theory doesn't sit well with everyone, as we reported in a cover story last February.

Nonetheless, in recent years the anti-snip argument has been upgraded from heterodoxy to serious option. Circumcision rates have actual begun to dip. San Francisco almost put a circumcision ban on the 2011 ballot. And Sebrell says most moms-to-be who brush against the her pitch are receptive. 

"I was particularly surprised at the expo about how many people were approaching us and how many people had already chosen to leave their children intact."

She adds: "The only place where I've encountered people being aggressive has been online."

Intactivistism isn't like to peter out in South Florida any time soon (pun completely intended). Sebrell and her counterparts are planning more demonstrations in the next few weeks. Beyond hospitals and baby shows, they're mapping out other locations where the word can effectively reach new parents.

"We were discussing doing one at a nearby Babies R Us," she says.

My Voice Nation Help

To cut off thousands of nerve endings from the most sensitive part of a baby boy's body and also amputate the movable part of his penis makes him sub-normal for life. How can parents live with themselves knowing they paid to have someone sexually mutilate their newborn boy?


"Extra" skin?  I never had any extra. Nobody does.Foreskin feels REALLY good. Circumcision wecks sex.


Cutting off parts of the genitals of children is child abuse. Circumcision has nothing to do with "conventional wisdom" it has everything to do will willful ignorance. Thanks to all who protest and speak out against this severe violation of human rights.

suzannabell 1 Like

I don't understand how this can come across as a "radical" way of thinking. Every other country in the world knows that we are the radical ones for amputating perfectly healthy and functioning organ just hours after our children's birth!

The American Cancer Society issued an official statement begging American pediatricians to stop spreading the myth that circumcision reduces the rate of penile cancer.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention already issued a statement saying that circumcision does not reduce the risk of HIV and AIDS.

Honestly, to keep thinking that cutting off a piece of one's body magically makes them immune to disease and illness is superstitious and ludicrous, and truly shows the ignorance of our supposed "modern" country.

If we, as an American people, can get our heads screwed on straight we will realize that this excruciating and barbaric tradition we force upon our infants is one of the most erroneous mistakes any culture can possibly make.

It is nothing but torture holding a dollar sign and wrapped in an American flag. And it must come to an end.

mikerol 2 Like

Making it a taboo to compare male with female sexual mutilation is the biggest scandal of the controversy. In both instances the most sensitive and most erogenous zone of the human body is amputated and severely damaged. In both instances, what counts primarily is the cutting of human sexuality. The imposition of control by the patriarchy.What is lacking in all the talk about circumcision is discussion of itsarcheological dimension - that it is the left over of human sacrifice.What kind of god is it that asks a people to sacrifice? Or a people who create such a god for themselves?Also, unfortunately it is / has been circumcision that has MADE for no end of anti-semitic sentiments. Freud found that it was the chief reason for unconscious anti-Semitism. And the myths surrounding it are at the core of the “blood libel.” Thus, it's time to eliminate the Brit Milah because if that is the chief reason for being anti-Semitic or anti-Abrahamic [Islam too practices the rite] then why hang on to this left-over of human sacrifice? that traumatizesthe child, cutting off 5,000 nerves, that is the equivalent of female circumcision in the sense that it eliminates everything but the clitoris,and only serves the UltraOrthodox to maintain their power? After all, reform Judaism sought to eliminate the rite in the 19th century, and Jewish identity depends on being born by a Jewish mother, or converting. Here a link to an archive of the entire German and then some debate, note especially Michael Wolffsohn's two pieces . Circumcision has been controversial also within Jewry forever.

marylanser 2 Like

Not only that it's painful and ridiculous to put a perfectly normal healthy infant through genital alteration

ml66uk 2 Like

It's illegal to cut off a girl's prepuce, or to make any incision on a girl's genitals, even if no tissue is removed. Even a pinprick is banned. Why don't boys get the same protection?

Everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts of their genitals cut off. It's *their* body.

policestatesofameric 4 Like

Intactivists around the nation are asking American moms to search their conscience.  Would they allow a doctor to rip apart their daughter's genitals?  Please stop this cruelty to American boys, making them second-class citizens. All children should be protected from alteration of their genitals. If you want to know more, see the excellent video "Elephant in the Hospital"

jackoper 4 Like

The conventional wisdom of countries with advanced medicine is that the practice is a barbaric WOUNDING of a baby boy.    

The parts of the genitals that are cut off are some of the most highly innervated parts of the human. The lips, nipples and fingertips have similar touch sense. To take this away from another person without their consent is heinous. To do this to a newborn baby is creepy, child abuse and a human rights VIOLATION.

A babies future sexual pleasure is not the first thing that many consider, but it is very important. The International Journal of Men's Health published results of a study that showed circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to loss of sensitivity. In a further study, The British Journal of Urology International reports that circumcised men can experience up to a 75 percent reduction in sensitivity compared to men who are not circumcised. It is never reasonable to take erogenous tissue away from another human without asking. Please give that some thought.

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