Historic Highlights

A timeline of historic events concerning the practice of male genital cutting from 1945 to the present day.

1945 United Nations Charter includes human rights language. (Articles 55 & 56)
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25.2) recognizes need of the child for special protection and the right of all to the security of the body.
1949 In the Name of Humanity!, by Joseph Lewis, published by Eugenics Publishing Company, New York.
1949 " The Fate of the Foreskin," by Douglas Gairdner, M.D., published British Medical Journal. British National Health Service discontinues payment for circumcision.
1966 International Covenant on Human Rights guarantees right of child to special protection without regard to race, color, sex,language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth.
1968 U.N. Declaration of Rights of the Child enunciates ten principles for the protection of children.
1968 " The Further Fate of the Foreskin," by Jacob Oster, M.D., published by British Medical Journal, recognizes the normal process of preputial separation from glans as taking up to 17 years.
1970 " Whither the Foreskin?," by Capt. E. Noel Preston, MC, USAF, published in JAMA, refutes claims that circumcision prevents cancer.
1971 The American Academy of Pediatrics announces: "There is no medical indication for circumcision."
1975 American Academy of Pediatrics ad hoc Task Force Committee on Circumcision states: "There is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn." No significant change in medical practice followed.
1976 Dr. Benjamin Spock revises his book, Baby and Child Care, and reports there is "no medical reason to recommend routine circumcision." Adding his personal opinion, he says, "We now know that it is not the only choice, nor is it agreed that it is the most sensible choice. My own preference, if I had the good fortune to have another son, would be to leave his little penis alone."
1978 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concurs with the American Academy of Pediatrics. No significant change in medical practice followed.
1978 " Routine circumcision of the newborn: A Reappraisal," by David Grimes, M.D., published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynececology.
1979 The American Pediatric Urologic Society concurs with American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetrics Gynecology. No significant change in medical practice.
1980 Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy, by Edward Wallerstein published by Springer Publishing Company.
1984 Care of the Uncircumcized [sic] Penis," written by Edward Wallerstein and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, describes function of the foreskin and problems caused by circumcision. This disclosure of iatrogenic problems caused by removal of the foreskin was deleted in a revision of the pamphlet two years later.
1984 Adam London lawsuit filed in an attempt to establish the right of a child to intact sexual organs and to protect him from "battery" and "false imprisonment," the causes of action allowed by the judge. The finding of the Superior Court in defense of the doctor was upheld by the California Appellate Court and the case was denied hearing by the California Supreme Court.
1984 Circumcision: What Every Parent Should Know, by Anne Briggs published by Birth and Parenting Publications.
1985 Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma, by Rosemary Romberg, published by Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.
1985 National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC) founded by Marilyn Milos and Sheila Curran.
1985 Circumcision: What Every Parent Should Know, 2nd edition, by Anne Briggs published by Birth and Parenting Publications.
1986 National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers receives 501(c)3 educational non-profit status.
1986 "Care of the Uncircumcised Penis," revised by the American Academy of Pediatrics, omits "Function of the Foreskin" section.
1987 The California Medical Association Resolution 712-87, "That the CMA endorse the concept of newborn circumcision as a public health measure," authored by pro-circumcision advocate, Aaron Fink, M.D., introduced by Robert L. Bratman, M.D., fails to pass following recommendation of the CMA's Scientific Committee: "That CMA not adopt resolution 712-87, newborn circumcision as a public health measure."
1987 The Phil Donahue Show addresses the circumcision/foreskin restoration issue with guests Dr. Dean Edell, Marilyn Milos, Trudie London, and Richard Steiner.
1987 " Pain and its effects on the human neonate and fetus," by K. J. S. Anand, MBBS, D.Phil., and P. R. Hickey, M.D., published by the British Medical Journal, November 19, 1987, debunks the myth that babies do not feel pain.
1988 California Medical Association Resolution 305-88, "That the CMA endorse the concept of newborn circumcision as an effective public health measure," authored by Aaron Fink, M.D., and introduced by Robert L. Bratman, M.D., passes by a voice vote of CMA Delegates, against Scientific Committee recommendation.
1989 California Medical Association Resolution to rescind Fink's resolution, authored by John W. Hardebeck, fails to pass.
1989 The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision broadens its position: "Newborn circumcision has potential medical benefits and advantages as well as disadvantages and risks." Discusses pain and behavioral changes for the first time. "When circumcision is being considered, the benefits and risks should be explained to the parents and informed consent obtained." Circumcision advocate, Dr. Edgar Schoen, headed the committee. AAP report distorted by some newspapers that claimed AAP reversed its position.
1989 First International Symposium on Circumcision held in Anaheim, California. The general assemply adopts Declaration of the First International Symposium on Circumcision in defense of children's rights to genital integrity.
1989 United Nations adopts International Covenant on the Rights of the Child.
1991 Second International Symposium on Circumcision, held San Francisco, California, informs doctors of findings from First International Symposium on Circumcision.
1992 The Nurses of St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico - 24 of them - take a conscientious objector stand and refuse to participate with routine infant circumcision.
1992 Say No to Circumcision! by Thomas J. Ritter, M.D., and The Joy of Uncircumcising! by Jim Bigelow, Ph.D., published by Hourglass Publishing Company.
1992 National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males (NOHARMM) founded by Tim Hammond as a non-profit organization to make men aware of the deception behind "medical" infant circumcision and to empower men to speak out for children's and men's rights.
1994 The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses International Covenant on the Rights of the Child.
1994 Third International Symposium on Circumcision, held at the University of Maryland Conference Center increases international networking.
1995 Nurses for the Rights of the Child (NRC) founded by Mary Conant, Betty Sperlich, and Mary Rose Booker as a non-profit organization of nurses committed to the protection of nonconsenting infants and children from the surgical alteration of their genitals.
1995 Representative Patricia Schroeder introduces bill to outlaw female genital mutilation, which is not acted upon. New York and Minnesota join North Dakota in making genital mutilation of a female minor a felony.
1995 The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes limits on parental power to consent.
1995 Circumcision Information Resource Pages (CIRP) on internet initiated to provide accurate information on genital mutilation to the public.
1996 Second Female Genital Mutilation Bill introduced by Representative Patricia Schroeder. Lawsuit filed in North Dakota Federal Court for gender bias of female genital mutilation bill, because it does not allow for equal protection.
1996 " The prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision," by J.R. Taylor, A.P. Lockwood and A.J. Taylor, published by British Journal of Urology, February 1996, documents exactly what is lost with circumcision.
1996 Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.) founded by George C. Denniston, M.D., as an international organization of doctors committed to telling the truth about the harm of circumcision and the uniquely specialized, uniquely sensitive erogenous tissue circumcision destroys.
1996 " Letter to the Editor," by Dr. John Warren and 20 other signatories, published by British Medical Journal, February 10, 1996, claims that circumcision violates ethical standards and that "doctors should give greater recognition to the rights of the child."
1996 Second editions of Say No to Circumcision! by Thomas J. Ritter, M.D., and George C. Denniston, M.D., and The Joy of Uncircumcising! by Jim Bigelow, Ph.D., published by Hourglass Publishing Company.
1996 Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations, held at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, is the first conference in Europe to address both female and male genital mutilation.
1996 Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.
1996 Canadian Paediatric Society, Fetus and Newborn Committee, Neonatal Circumcision Revisited says: "The overall evidence of the benefits and harms of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns."
1996 Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons says: "We do not support the removal of a normal part of the body, unless there are definite indications to justify the complications and risks which may arise. In particular, we are opposed to male children being subjected to a procedure, which had they been old enough to consider the advantages and disadvantages, may well have opted to reject the operation and retain their prepuce."
1996 Australian College of Paediatrics Position Statement on Routine Circumcision of Normal Male Infants and Boys says: "The Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons has informed the College that 'Neonatal male circumcision has no medical indication. It is a traumatic procedure performed without anaesthesia to remove a normal functional protective prepuce.'"
1996 Australian Medical Association says: "The Australian College of Paediatrics should continue to discourage the practice of circumcision in newborns."
1996 British Medical Association Guidelines, Circumcision of Male Infants Guidance for Doctors states: "To circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has sown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate."
1997 Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy, the proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations, edited by George C. Denniston and Marilyn Fayre Milos, published by Plenum.
1997 U.S. Female Genital Mutilation Law goes into effect on April 1, providing for the prosecution of anyone who "circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18."
1997 " Justifying the unjustifiable: rite v. wrong," by A. J. Chessler, is published by the Buffalo Law Review, 1997, saying that "The bifurcation of male circumcision from female circumcision can no longer be tolerated. Claims that the two cannot be linked perpetuates the continued legitimacy of one human rights abuse, male circumcision, through the condemnation of another."
1997 " Sex Reassignment at Birth," by M. Diamond and K. Sigmundson, is published by Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, March 1997, describes a male, whose penis was burned off when he was circumcised at 8 months of age for an alleged phimosis. He was then castrated and his remaining genitals were surgically altered to "facilitate feminization." Years later, and after a deeply troubled and tormented childhood, John/Joan decided to take back his Y-chromosone-determined identity of male.
1997 " Effect of neonatal circumcision on pain response during subsequent routine vaccination, " by Anna Taddio, et al.," published by the Lancet, March 1, 1997, states: "It is, therefore, possible that the greater vaccination response in the infants circumcised without anaesthesia may represent an infant analogue of a post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by a traumatic and painful event and re-experienced under similar circumstances of pain during vaccination."
1997 "Circumcising baby boys 'criminal assault,' Ethist says society must consider ban," by Sharon Kirkey, published in The Ottawa Citizen, October 17, describes the courageous stand of Margaret Somerville, one of Canada's leading medical ethicists. Somerville is quoted as saying, "It's a bodily wounding on a tiny infant that has given no consent itself, and it is not a medically necessary [procedure]." Dr. Somerville is the founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law. "The onus," said Dr. Somerville, "is on the parents to show that circumcision provides medical benefits. That issue has been the subject of three decades of furious scientific debate, and no consensus has emerged."
1997 Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court Upholds Ban on Female Genital Mutilation. On December 28, Egypt's highest court prohibits government-certified doctors and health workers from mutilating girls and women.
1997 " The Case Against Circumcision," by Paul Fleiss, M.D., published in Mothering: The Magazine of Natural Living, Winter issue.
1998 The American Academy of Pediatrics' Policy Against Female Genital Mutilation is published in the Pediatrics, the journal of the AAP. Opposed to any form of female genital mutilation, the AAP recommends that pediatricians dissuade families from having the ritualistic procedure performed on their daughters. [NOCIRC looks forward to the day that the AAP protects boys as well as girls because, when one gender is traumatized by torture and mutilation, both genders suffer.]
1998 " Separated at Birth: Did Circumcision Ruin Your Sex Life?,"an expose of the invasion of circumcision into medical practice, the myths that perpetuate it, and the harmful consequences of genital mutilation, published in Men's Health, August issue.
1998 Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective, by Ronald Goldman, PhD, forward by Rabbi Raymond Singer, PhD, is published by Vanguard Publications.
1998 The Joy of Uncircumcising!by Jim Bigelow, Ph.D. This third printing updates the 1995 2nd edition and includes an excellent bulletin update, listing significant events of 1996 and 1997.
1998 Fifth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations: Medical, Ethical and Legal Considerations in Paediatric Practice, University of Oxford, UK, 5-7 August.
1998 FACING CIRCUMCISION: Eight Physicians Tell Their Stories premiers at the 5ISSM, August 6. Reveals ethical dilemmas of physicians who circumcise newborns.
1998 Circumcision Exposed: Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition, by Billy Ray Boyd, forward by Paul M. Fleiss, M.D., published by The Crossing Press.
1998 The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights issues a special report on child circumcision as a violation of human rights entitled, " Male Circumcision and the Rights of the Child."
1998 Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) founded by J. Steven Svoboda, Esq., as a non-profit international network of attorneys to address the legality of mutilating the genitals of children.
1999 International Coalition for Genital Integrity (ICGI) founded by Rio Cruz, PhD, to coordinate the many groups working to end harmful traditional practices.
1999 The 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision released a new "evidence-based" Circumcision Policy Statement that repudiates the previous Task Force's position that "potential benefits" were a good reason to circumcise. The Task Force refused to recommend neonatal circumcision to any parent, and said that, if a child is to be circumcised, anesthesia should be used.The AAP Position Statement can be viewed at www.aap.org/policy/re9850.html or, with links to articles that further address the comments in the statement, at www.cirp.org/library/statements/aap1999/. See the NOCIRC press release in response to the AAP statement.
1999 BJU International publishes special supplement devoted to male circumcision.
1999 Botched circumcision leads to $360,000 in damages; The cruel cut that ruined a man's life. A Perth man won a $360,000 damages payout after a West Australian doctor admitted he botched a circumcision operation which left the man with a badly deformed penis.
1999 Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice. Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations, edited by George C. Denniston, Frederick Mansfield Hodges, and Marilyn Fayre Milos. Published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow.
1999 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in adult males, in which the traumatic stressor is identified as neonatal circumcision, is documented by Dr. John Rhinehart in an article entitled, "Neonatal Circumcision Reconsidered."
1999 Open Letter to the American Medical Association, by Gary Harryman, outlines the ways that routine infant circumcision violates all seven principles of the AMA Code of Ethics, is without medical justification, and suggests that the legal recourse sought by the victims may be the thing to prompt, encourage, and ensure that doctors put their scalpels down.
1999 Female Genital Mutilation Now a Felony in Colorado. Democratic Senator Dorothy Rupert's bill to outlaw female genital mutilation in Colorado went into effect on March 25 when Governor Bill Owens signed Senate Bill 96, making the procedure a felony. Violation of the law is punishable by 4-12 years in prison and a fine of $3,000 to $750,000. It also is a crime to take a child under the age of 16 out of the state for such a mutilation.
1999 UN Grants NOCIRC Roster Status. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations grants Roster status to NOCIRC, and NOCIRC now has official representatives at UN Headquarters in New York, and the Geneva and Vienna offices.
2000 Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery, by David L. Gollaher is published by Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group.
2000 The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit, by Margaret Somerville, published by the Penguin Group, includes a chapter entitled "Altering Baby Boys' Bodies, the Ethics of Infant Male Circumcision."
2000 The Sixth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations: Securing Human Rights in the 21st Century," held at the University of Sydney, Australia, 7-9 December 2000.
2000 18-year-old Files Lawsuit Against His Circumciser. William G. Stowell filed a lawsuit in New York in December, suing the doctor and hospital responsible for circumcising him shortly after birth, saying the operation caused him excruciating pain and lasting sexual harm. He claims his pain threshold has been reduced and his ability to sexually satisfy women has been unalterably harmed. This is a landmark case.
2001 Dad Protects Son From Circumcision. A New Jersey father protected his 3-year-old son from circumcision on January 4, when the case was settled between the boy's mother and father, and the mother withdrew her request to have the boy circumcised.
2001 Genital Integrity Awareness Week Launched. The International Coalition for Genital Integrity (ICGI) launched Genital Integrity Awareness Week, April 1-7 (April is Child Abuse Prevention Month), in Washington, DC.
2001 Genital Integrity: A New Awareness, a NOCIRC conference, was held to bring people together for Genital Integrity Week in Washington, DC.
2001 NOCIRC Attends UN Meetings in New York. Shelton Walden, Director of NOCIRC of NY and our United Nations Representative, attended a UN meeting of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) at the State Department in Washington, DC, on May 30, to requrest the issue of male genital mutilation be put on the agenda in preparation for the UN's Special Session on Children, scheduled for 19-21 September in NY. On June 11, Shelton attended preparatory committee sessions in New York, especially the meetings of the Child's Right Caucus. [Unfortunately, in the wake of the Manhattan disaster on 9/11, the meeting was canceled.]
2001 Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) and NOCIRC Address UN in Geneva. Speaking on behalf of ARC and NOCIRC, J. Steven Svoboda, a human rights attorney and the founder of ARC, on August 14 addressed the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. He noted that, while protections for women and girls have been instituted, including aggressive programs to stop female genital mutilation, male circumcision has never even been studied by the United Nations. Svoboda testified that every national medical association that has examined the issue has failed to find medical benefits that justify routine removal of healthy tissue from non-consenting infants. Regarding religion, Svoboda said that, for boys and girls alike, under basic human rights principles, another's right to practice a religion must end where that individual's body begins.
2001 The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective, by Ellen Gruenbaum is published by University of Pennsylvania Press.
2001 Doctors Re-examine Circumcision, by Thomas J. Ritter, MD, and George C. Denniston, MD, with a forward by Ashley Montagu, PhD, is the 3rd edition of Say No To Circumcision!, with a name change and cover revision.
2001 The Ashley Montagu Resolution to End the Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide is put on the Internet at www.MontaguNOCIRCpetition.org.
2001 Human Rights Centre to Sue Female Circumcisers
The Eldoret based Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD) is to sue 12 female circumcisers for intending to forefully circumcise young girls in Uasin-Gishu and Nandi districts. CHRD official, David Koros, said, "We have been briefed about their intentions and those they want to circumcise." He added, "We appeal to all girls who may be forced to undergo the rite, especially in the peak season of December to report to us for necessary assistance." The East African Standard (Nairobi), 13 November 2001.
2001 Eastern Cape Tightens Law on Circumcision to Stem Casualties
Legislation regulating the practice of circumcision in the Eastern Cape, one of South Africa's nine provinces, has been enacted to help stem the tide of casualties of young men who have either died or been maimed after circumcision. The Eastern Cape is home to the Xhosa tribe, to which Nelson Mandela and president Tabo Mbeki belong. It is one of the tribes in southern Africa that perform circumcision at 18 years of age as part of initiation into manhood. The Application of Health Standards in Traditional Circumcision Act in the Eastern Cape legislature provides for the observation of health standards in traditional circumcisions, with penalties of up to 10,000 rands ($12,000) and 10 years in jail. BMJ, 2001;323:1090 (10 November).
2001 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion on Circumcision
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolgists supports the current position of the American Academy of Pediatrics that finds the existing evidence insufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision...There is ample evidence that newborns circumcised without analgesia experience pain and stress. ACOG Committee Opinion Number 260, October 2001.
2001 New Swedish Circumcision Law Now in Effect
A law restricting circumcisions, passed by the Swedish Parliament on June 1, took effect on 1 October 2001. The law requires circumcision to be performed only by a physician or another person with appropriate training. It also requires the administration of an analgesic or an anesthetic by a doctor or qualified nurse in connection with the procedure. Circumcision in not generally performed on Swedish boys, except Jewish boys eight days after birth and Muslim boys as a rite of passage, generally done when they are older. Bo Lindblom, deputy director of Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare, said the legislation arose after serious injuries and a death occurred during circumcisions. Lindblom said the law provides important precautions to protect the health of children. A number of Swedish doctors say they will not carry out such operations under any circumcstances, and one prominent physician and professor of pediatrics, Dr. Yngve Hofvander, compares male circumcision with female genital mutilation. Ritualistic male circumcisions by Jews and Muslims are temporarily permitted, but are severely restricted. Members of the Jewish community have condemned the law as interfering with their historic traditions. Many do not want the baby to be anesthetized, even though circumcision is an excruciatingly painful surgery. They say they will not be able to find nurses or doctors to help them perform the ceremony because many health professions in Sweden view circumcision as a form of mutilation. This marks the first time the circumcision of males under the age of majority has been officially accepted by a national government as a human rights issue, giving males equal protection with females against genital cutting. The new law orders the Health and Welfare Committee to further study ritual male circumcision as a human rights violation.

Physician and Hospital Motion to Dismiss Circumcision Case Denied
Precedent Set for Men to Sue for Being Circumcised as Infants

Judge Leonard Wexler of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, on 24 September 2001, denied the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim in the precedent-setting case of 19-year-old William G. Stowell, who filed a civil suit against the physician who circumcised him as a newborn and the hospital where he was circumcised. Plaintiff Stowell, born on December 22, 1981, at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, NY, was circumcised the following day by his mother's obstetrician, Frank P. Cariello, MD. This landmark case brings into question whether a physician can legally obtain consent from a mother while she is debilitated during post-surgical pain and anesthesia, and also raises issues regarding removal of healthy, normal tissue from a non-consenting minor for non-therapeutic reasons. Depending upon the facts of the case and the jurisdiction, a male who was circumcised as an infant may be able to file a lawsuit of this type within 1, 2, or 3 years of reaching the age of majority - the time depends upon the law of the state in which he was circumcised.

2001 Debates Rage Over Circumcision Bill
The Traditional Affairs Standing Committee Chairperson Chief Zwelodumo Mtirara said his committee is listening to "hot debates" in the community over a Traditional Circumcision bill. Public hearings have been held throughout the Eastern Cape. Mtirara said the public welcomed the bill but called for it to be changed "here and there." He said men did not want women to participate in the custom, while women said that they had parental rights to be involved. The bill calls for the appointment of a medical officer to oversee circumcisions. The committee was expected to meet shortly after the hearings and start compiling a report for a joint standing on Health and Traditional Affairs. The bill will be passed to the House of Traditional Affairs for scrutiny and then tabled before the legislature for the debate and to be passed as an Act. East Cape News, 4 September 2001.
2001 UK Doctors Given Guidelines on Female Circumcision
Doctors in the UK have been urged to take firm action to protect girls from genital mutilation. In guidelines published on 20 August, the British Medical Association (BMA) called on doctors to involve social services or invoke child protection proceedings if families insist on having girls circumcised. The BMA urged doctors to deal with any requests sensitively and to be aware of cultural differences, but it has told doctors to make it clear that the practice is illegal in the UK and that measures will be taken to prevent families from going ahead with the procedure. Reuters Health, 20 August 2001.
2001 11-year-old Dies After Botched Circumcision
Sipho Mathe of Cork Trust village in Bushbuckridge was admitted to Mapulaneng Hospital after being circumcised at an initiation school several days earlier. Calcutta police representative Inspector Thulane Maphanga said the boy was in pain for several days, but was only rushed to the hospital when his condition deteriorated. He is one of nine boys who died at initiation schools in the province this winter season. African Eye News Service, 16 August 2001.
2001 Agreement Reached in Circumcision Case
A settlement was reached on July 24, 2001, between a baby boy's parents, whose disagreement over whether to circumcise their son, Asher Nathaniel Grisham, born July 4, almost ended in court. Rodney Grisham, 25, the baby's father, said his son will not be circumcised and he wouldn't have agreed to "anything less." He argued that circumcision amounts to sexual assault. Sheila Grisham, 21, the baby's mother, argued that not doing it was against her religious beliefs, although she is a Christian, a religion that does not require circumcision. Prior to the settlement, Rodney filed a protection from abuse order to stop the procedure.
2001 European Parliamentarians Call for Action Against FGM
The European Parliament's Women's Rights Committee adopted a report 13 July, condemning all forms of female genital mutilation, calling it a serious human rights violation and an act of violence against women. The report is scheduled for adoption at the Brussels plenary session in September.
2001 Death Knell of the "Foreskins-Cause-Aids" Myth
In the first objective study in a first-world population, researchers state "Our data...suggests that circumcision is not strongly protective against HIV infection in homosexual men. Larger studies, preferably of prospective design, are needed to confirm the absence of a relationship between circumcision and HIV infection risk in gay men. In the meantime, educational messages to homosexual men should continue to emphasize that insertive anal sex is a high-risk activity for HIV transmission whether or not the insertive partner is circumcised." Grulich, AE, Hendry O, Clark E. Kippax S, Kaldor JM. Circumcision and male-to-male sexual transmission of HIV. AIDS 2001 June 15;15(9):1188-1189. National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia.
2001 Boy Wins $1.4 Million for Circumcision as Procedure Becomes Increasingly Risky for Physicians to Perform. A Sacramento, California, jury, during the first week of June 2001, awarded $1.42 million to a 7-year-old boy for a botched circumcision performed by a first-year resident at the UC Davis Medical Center. The verdict exceeds the legal cap of $250,000 on medical malpractice awards because the hospital failed to obtain the parents' consent to operate. The child was 5 days old when he underwent the surgery in 1994 and, according to his attorney Martin Blake, he will have to undergo multiple surgeries when he is an adolescent.
2001 Billboard in Akron, sponsored by NOCIRC of Ohio.

2002 Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Montana, Join Growing Movement Against Medicaid-Funded Circumcision when they eliminated Medicaid funding for infant circumcision.
2002 What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision: Untold Facts - and Most Unnecessary - Surgery, by Paul M. Fleiss, MD, and Frederick M. Hodges, DPhil, published by Warner Books.
2002 The Seventh International Symposium on Human Rights and Modern Society: Advancing Human Dignity and the Legal Right to Bodily Integrity in the 21st Century, April 4-7, 2002, Georgetown University Conference Center, Washington, DC.
2002 Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons Cautions Doctors
The Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons is asking family doctors to consider the physical risk to the patient and the legal risk to the physician before becoming involved in the routine circumcision of infants. A memo issued on February 20, 2002, advised physicians to "accurately and effectively convey the message" that infant circumcision is not consistent with good medical practice, and parental consent for the operation may not be truly informed. [The memo warns physicians who perform newborn circumcision, even for religious reasons, saying they "would be prudent to consult with and seek advice from the Canadian Medical Protective Association before proceeding." See: www.infocirc.org/saskmemo.htm] JAMC, 3 September 2002; 167(5).
2002 Circumcision Case to Proceed to Trial
North Dakota district Judge Cynthia Rothe-Seeger denied a motion for summary judgment by defendants in the Flatt v. Katak circumcision case, and decided it will proceed to trial on February 3, 2003. The precedent-setting decision confirms that a baby who is circumcised can sue his doctor when he reaches the age of majority, even if there was parental consent for the circumcision, and even if the results are considered to be 'normal.'
2002 Lobbying & Law: Activists Fight Circumcision, By Shawn Zeller, National Journal, Washington, Saturday, 29 June 2002.
2002 Male and Female Circumcision Among Jews, Christians and Muslims: Religious, Medical, Social and Legal Debate by Sami A. Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh (forward by Marilyn Fayre Milos). This 530-page book is an English translation of a revised two-volume book published in Arabic (forward by Dr. Nawal el Sa'dawi) by Riad El-Rayyes (Beirut)and available at www.lpj.org/Nonviolence/Sami/Circon/Index.htm, and in French by L'Harmattan (Paris). This edition is published by Shangri-La Publications, 3 Coburn Hill Road, Warren Center, PA 19951 USA, URL: http://shangri-la.0catch.com. Email orders: shangrila@egypt.net. Cloth bound (ISBN 0-9677201-9-2), US $44.50; paperback (ISBN 0-9677201-6-8), US$36; pre-publication discount of 10% until January 2002. Orders may also be placed through Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
2002 Doctors Re-examine Circumcision, by Thomas J. Ritter, MD, and George C. Denniston, MD, 3rd edition (previously titled Say No to Circumcision). $15ppd. To order single book or bulk orders, contact Lisa Stephon at MusiciansUnited@aol.com
2003 Utah Eliminates Medicaid-Funded Circumcision. Utah is the first state in 2003 to eliminate funding of non-therapeutic circumcision, joining ten other states.
2004 Flesh and Blood: Perspectives on the Problem of Circumcision in Contemporary Society, Edited by George, C. Denniston, Frederick Mansfield Hodges, and Marilyn Fayre Milos. Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Genital Integrity. Published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow. 2004.

Return to the NOCIRC home page