The first of many needed victories

I’m anxious to read the judge’s reasoning, but this is unexpected and amazing:

In a case that has been closely watched by anti-circumcision groups nationwide, a Cook County judge today ruled that a 9-year-old Northbrook boy should not be circumcised against his will.

In a written opinion handed down today, Circuit Judge Jordan Kaplan found that “the evidence was conflicting and inconclusive as to any past infections or irritations that may have been suffered by the child.”

“Moreover,” he continued, “this court also finds that medical evidence as provided by the testimony of the expert witnesses for each of the parties is inconclusive as to the medical benefits or non-benefits of circumcision as it relates to the 9-year-old child.”

The case was a clear victory for the growing number of so-called “intactivist┬╣ groups” across the country that have argued that circumcision is harmful and violates the rights of children who are not old enough to consent to the irreversible medical procedure.

Kaplan, who also cited the irreversible nature of the operation, said his order would remain in effect until the boy turns 18, when he can decide for himself whether or not he wants to be circumcised.

Finally, a dose of sanity from our court system regarding the limits of parental rights existence of a child’s rights. Granted, I suspect Judge Kaplan’s ruling is much more limited than I’d like, since the boy’s parents are divorced. If they’d agreed, this case wouldn’t happen and the boy’s rights would’ve been ignored. That societal oversight isn’t going away just because Judge Kaplan ruled correctly in this case. However, this is still great news.

Worth noting in this is something I’ve heard from pro-infant circumcision individuals. They’ll ask why I care so much about their son’s penis. The short answer is that I don’t care about his penis. I care about his rights, which I know are clearly being violated. He can’t consent and enough evidence exists to indicate that he wouldn’t consent if given the choice later in life. I’m not against circumcision, but it should be medically necessary or left to adult males to decide for themselves. As such, I don’t believe the question should be why I care so much about a boy’s penis. Instead parents should ask themselves why they care so little. He is born with a healthy, intact penis. Amputating part of it is the radical position.

┬╣ I’m familiar with the term intactivist. It’s cute and descriptive, but because it’s cute, I do not like it. As the article shows, it does little more than give reporters an excuse to fill in the story with details at which typical readers will roll their eyes. That’s not helpful.

4 thoughts on “The first of many needed victories”

  1. Bravo! You made some excellent points. I especially enjoyed your explanation of why you don’t use the term ‘intactivist’.
    ~Nay

  2. I don’t know the source for “intactivist” but it is just a tag. Apparently it’s one that these people have chosen at some time instead of others that would have more of a negative connotation. Personally, I like it! It’s short and sweet and gets the message across in one word. As a former ad exec, it’s the kind of thing we look for. Simple and concise!

  3. A little background on this case that may help understanding:
    The Father is a Polish immigrant and Europeans do not circumcise infants except for Jews. That would explain his stand. The Mother is American. After the divorce, she re-married a Jewish man and is converting to Judiasm and that is probably at root of this desire to circumcise the boy.
    It sounds like the reports of infections were unsupported by evidence. Genital infections in boys are the same genital infections found in females and are equally successfully treated with antibiotics or anti-fungals. Female genital infections are never treated with amputation and the same infections in boys should never be treated that way either. However, surgery for boys is often the only option parents are given.

  4. The term “intactivist”, as used by mainstream news writers, is definitely a pejorative whose main purpose is to belittle anti-circumcision activists.
    This entire story felt like an attempt to disparage people who oppose infant circumcision. When it was first reported three months ago, the press probably thought the judge would rule in favor of the mother and “intactivists” would have egg all over their face (hence their decision to run it).
    When it didn’t turn out the way they expected, they followed it up anyway but with a heavy dollop of spin that suggested the father was a stubborn idiot just the same(there were dozens of posts on other blogs about this and all of them bashed the hell out of the father thanks to the spin job).
    Reuters was the only news agency that mentioned that the mother had forcibly retracted her son’s foreskin before it was ready to retract (a major no-no). This would account for the mysterious swelling and inflammation he experienced and, moreover, it cast serious doubt on the claim that a circumcision was needed….a pretty important detail don’t you think?
    My opinion of the corporate media has always been extremely low and this story merely reinforced the contempt I already had for them.

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