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American Academy of Pediatrics Protest

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Monday, August 27, 2012 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
AAP California 1 Chapter
68 Mitchell Blvd, Suite 252, San Rafael

The American Academy of Pediatrics intends to release an updated Circumcision Policy Statement on Monday, August 27. Rather than discouraging doctors and parents from subjecting infant boys to non-therapeutic circumcision, an unnecessary surgery which violates a child's most basic of human rights to bodily integrity, the updated statement makes allegations that there are health benefits that justify amputating normal, healthy, erogenous tissue from non-consenting minors.

Members of Bay Area Intactivists intend to make our disapproval known in front of the California 1 Chapter office of the AAP. Our protest is one of many that will take place across the United States as a result of the AAP's failure to recognize the human rights of male minors as well as the ethical responsibilities of its members to their patients. We hope that you will join us.

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The complete text of the updated Circumcision Policy Statement follows:


Male circumcision is a common procedure, generally performed during the newborn period in the United States. In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) formed a multidisciplinary task force of AAP members and other stakeholders to evaluate the recent evidence on male circumcision and update the Academy’s 1999 recommendations in this area. Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it. Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement.

Policy Statement

Systematic evaluation of English-language peer-reviewed literature from 1995 through 2010 indicates that preventive health benefits of elective circumcision of male newborns outweigh the risks of the procedure. Benefits include significant reductions in the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life and, subsequently, in the risk of heterosexual acquisition of HIV and the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections.

The procedure is well tolerated when performed by trained professionals under sterile conditions with appropriate pain management. Complications are infrequent; most are minor, and severe complications are rare. Male circumcision performed during the newborn period has considerably lower complication rates than when performed later in life.

Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns. It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner.

Parents ultimately should decide whether circumcision is in the best interests of their male child. They will need to weigh medical information in the context of their own religious, ethical, and cultural beliefs and practices. The medical benefits alone may not outweigh these other considerations for individual families.

Intactivists protest during a medical conference.