Genital Autonomy

Compelling reasons exist for strong concern among attorneys and the public about the various types of damage caused by circumcision. These include pain and suffering, psychological harm, behavioral changes, irreversible reduction or loss of full sexual function, and underreported tragic complications, including deaths. Moreover, no satisfactory medical justification for routine circumcision has ever been demonstrated. Click here to view the Attorneys for the Rights of the Child brochure.

ARC is releasing a series of six short videos from the October 18, 2013 debate between J. Steven Svoboda and Dr. Michael Brady of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The videos were made by award-winning filmmaker Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon.
My talk on September 13, 2017 at the 40th anniversary conference of the National Coalition for Men (NCFM) went very well. The topic of my talk was, "Genital Autonomy and Gender Equity."
Steven Svoboda will be speaking at the 15th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights, to be held at the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco from May 4-6, 2018.
The American Medical Association (AMA) Journal of Ethics has today published an article of mine that I was invited to write for them. The title is "Nontherapeutic Circumcision of Minors as an Ethically Problematic Form of Iatrogenic Injury."
A legal case relating to harm from a circumcision performed with a Mogen clamp was recently decided, unfavorably to the plaintiff who underwent the circumcision, in Connecticut, though the main thrust of the case was a procedural issue rather than anything relating to the substantive claim and harm.
Human Rights Watch has issued a 160-page report supporting the right of intersex children to be protected from surgery that is not medically necessary.
In the past couple of months, three Michigan residents including two physicians have been charged with violating the US law against female genital cutting. Contrary to what the article says, this is not the first time such a prosecution has been launched. We are not aware of any known convictions under the 1996 US law.
On December 20, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill protecting advocates of circumcision (and other groups) from religious persecution.
Filmmaker Brendon Marotta, director of the upcoming movie "American Circumcision," has very generously worked with ARC to prepare a release by of the full audio recording from October 19, 2013, the second day of the Charleston, South Carolina debate between J. Steven Svoboda and Dr. Michael Brady of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Filmmaker Brendon Marotta, director of the upcoming movie "American Circumcision," has very generously worked with ARC to prepare another release by of an audio clip from October 19, 2013, the second day of the Charleston, South Carolina debate between J. Steven Svoboda and Dr. Michael Brady of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The audio clip demonstrates that two members of the AAP Circumcision Task Force—Dr. Brady and Dr. Douglas Diekema--do not know the foreskin’s functions and incorrectly believe that no one knows them.
In leaked audio from a panel at the October 19, 2013 Pitts Lectureship in Medical Ethics at the Medical University of South Carolina, the bio-ethicist for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) task force on circumcision suggests that human rights is not the primary way the AAP decides on ethical issues.
Filmmaker Brendon Marotta, director of the upcoming movie "American Circumcision," has very generously worked with ARC to prepare a release by of an audio clip from October 19, 2013, the second day of the Charleston, South Carolina debate between J. Steven Svoboda and Dr. Michael Brady of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The audio clip demonstrates that the AAP has lied in the past when claiming that circumcision does not reduce sexual sensation in the penis.
ARC Executive Director Steven Svoboda participated in a question and answer session following a showing on November 1, 2016 of Cassie Jaye's excellent new film about the men's movement including activism for genital integrity, "The Red Pill."
In July 2016, the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics finally published the paper by ARC Executive Director Steven Svoboda, ARC Legal Advisor Peter Adler, and Bob Van Howe from the Twentieth Annual Thomas A. Pitts Lectureship in Medical Ethics, held at the Medical University of South Carolina in October 2013 pursuant to a conference titled, "Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics."
Steven overviews some recent achievements by ARC in the 1.75 years since his last show with Maria as well as developments relating to the struggle to protect children's right to bodily integrity.
ARC is proud to announce that our Legal Advisor, Peter Adler, has had his article, "The Draft CDC Circumcision Recommendations: Medical, Ethical, Legal, and Procedural Concerns," accepted for publication in the Spring 2016 issue of the International Journal for Children's Rights.
On December 4, 2015, from 2PM to 3PM, the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) is featuring a session titled, "From Circumcision to Genital Autonomy: Protecting the Rights of the Child," co-presented by Marilyn Milos, Hida Viloria, Soraya Mire, and Steven Svoboda.
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child was involved in the passage into law earlier this month of the first state-level comprehensive human rights accountability bill in the United States.
ARC issued a press release in response to the Canadian Paediatric Society's (CPS) updated position statement on circumcision, released September 8, 2015. The CPS re-affirmed its position of not supporting routine infant circumcision, saying the benefits do not outweigh the risks.
Genital Autonomy America has posted the papers from the July 24-26, 2014 Boulder Symposium including Svoboda's presentation regarding European legal developments, titled, “The Cutting Edge: Making Sense of European Legal Developments Amidst Growing Recognition of Children’s Legal, Ethical, and Human Rights to Bodily Integrity.”
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ARC executive director Steven Svoboda presented at the “Myths and Multiple Standards” conference in Frankfurt, Germany on May 8, 2015. The title of his well-received talk was “The rights of the child versus the rights of the parent?”
The first BirthKeeper Summit featured a session titled, "Protecting Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights," co-presented by Marilyn Milos, Hida Viloria, Soraya Mire, and Steven Svoboda.
On February 12, 2015, the American Journal of Bioethics published a pro-circumcision article “Ritual Infant Male Circumcision and Human Rights” by Allan J. Jacobs and Kavita Shah Arora and responses by six scholars of genital autonomy, Steven Svoboda, Brian Earp, Robert S. Van Howe, Alex Myers, the team of Barry Lyons and Ralph Hurley O'Connor, and the team of Sarah Burgess and Stuart J. Murray.
ARC's Legal Advisor Peter Adler's report on a New Hampshire bill hearing to defund Medicaid coverage of non-therapeutic male infant circumcisions. The bill is sponsored by New Hampshire Republican Keith Murphy.
A heartfelt congratulations to our own Jonathan Friedman for his achievements over the years in helping protect children from genital cutting. He was honored as “Intactivist of the Month” by Intact America for February 2015. Jonathan has been working with ARC since the summer of 2011 as webmaster and newsletter editor and continues to play a vital role in our organization.
Intact America sent letters to all Florida urologists in response to a recent case involving a boy who might be circumcised against his mother's wishes.
In compiling its proposed recommendations, the CDC has ignored the considerable and reputable literature from the fields of medicine, medical ethics, law, and human rights that calls into question the legitimacy of foreskin removal (circumcision) as a health care measure.
We are pleased to announce publication of the 31st issue of the ARC Newsletter, our Fall-Winter 2014 issue. This 40-page issue, produced with the expert collaboration of Newsletter Editor Jonathan Friedman, is stuffed with features we are proud to present.
"Parents need to recognize that they're effectively removing that decision from their son," says Dr. Douglas Diekema, a bioethicist at Seattle Children's Hospital who served on the pediatricians' task force. "And there are some men who will grow up being unhappy with the decision that their parents made."
Steven Svoboda was selected as Intact America's Intactivist of the Month for November, 2014. Seven years ago, when Intact America was just an idea among a handful of intactivists, J. Steven Svoboda—a human rights and patent law attorney in San Francisco—was an integral part of the conversation. In fact, he’s been fighting for human rights for decades.
Steven Svoboda's and Robert Van Howe's final refutation of AAP and Morris Published by Journal of Medical Ethics
"Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics," The Twentieth Pitts Lectureship in Medical Ethics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, was held on October 18-19, 2013. Steven Svoboda debated AAP Circumcision Task Force member Dr. Michael Brady, M.D., in a talk entitled, "Newborn Male Circumcision is Unethical and Should be Illegal."
Steven Svoboda's letter to the editor of JAMA Pediatrics was published in their March 2014 issue. Svoboda's letter is a critique of Morris & Tobian's article, "Legal Threat to Male Infant Circumcision," appearing in the same journal.
Steven appeared on the "Maria Sanchez Show" on March 17, 2014. Maria is a longtime friend of ARC and intactivism; Steven and Maria did their first show together way back in the year 2003.
Genital Autonomy organized the two-day conference titled, "Promoting Children's Rights in Europe: Recent Developments" and held at the University of Keele in England on September 16 and 17, 2013. Steven's presentation–which will be available for publication in the coming months–analyzed the 2012 Cologne court case holding that male circumcision violates human rights and the law and the German legislation attempting to overturn that court case.
In Search of Fatherhood magazine is again featuring Steven Svoboda on the cover of their magazine, their latest Autumn 2013 issue, along with two other activists on other issues. The issue reprints the fourth and final installment of Svoboda's article, "The Limits of the Law: Comparative Analysis of Legal and Extralegal Methods to Control Child Body Mutilation Practices."
An article by ARC's Legal Advisor, Peter W. Adler, "Is Circumcision Legal?", has been published in the Spring 2013 issue of the Journal of Law and the Public Interest at the University of Richmond.
Global Discourse has published Steven's article, "Promoting Genital Autonomy by Exploring Commonalities between Male, Female, Intersex, and Cosmetic Female Genital Cutting," adapted from the paper I presented on September 1, 2011 at the conference held at the University of Keele, "Law, Human Rights, and Non-Therapeutic Interventions on Children."
Springer has published the proceedings of the 2010 Berkeley symposium, the eighth and last such book. It is titled Genital Cutting: Protecting Children from Medical, Cultural, and Religious Infringements and is edited by George C. Denniston, Frederick M. Hodges, and Marilyn F. Milos.
Steven shares about two groundbreaking events that he participated in regarding the world’s view as well as the United States’ about circumcision.
The Journal of Medical Ethics has published Steven Svoboda's article, "Circumcision of Male Infants as a Human Rights Violation." This is part of the special issue on circumcision that also includes an article by Bob Van Howe and Steven Svobodaabout the AAP's position statement and technical report that drew a response from the AAP.
Attorney Peter Adler, ARC's Legal Advisor, submitted to the American Academy of Pediatrics' AAP News a response to Jeffrey L. Brown's recent article published in the April 2013 issue, "Medical-legal risks associated with circumcision of newborn males: need for revised consent."
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child wrote to the Canadian Paedatric Society, urging the CPS to uphold children's rights to bodily integrity and genital autonomy in its policy statement on male circumcision, which is expected to appear within the next few months.
The Jewish Press favorably mentioned the article by J Steven Svoboda and pediatrician Robert S. Van Howe that was recently published by the Journal of Medical Ethics.
Oxford University's Practical Ethics Blog has issued an announcement by the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) providing further information on the contents of the upcoming special issue on male circumcision.
Summary: Human rights attorney J. Steven Svoboda and pediatrician Robert S. Van Howe, M.D. have published a new article in one of the world’s leading journals on medical ethics arguing that the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP's) position regarding male circumcision lacks credible support. The article leads off the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) and has already led the AAP to arrange for the JME to publish its response in what Svoboda and Van Howe consider an ill-fated attempt to justify the medically and ethically flawed arguments in its policy statement and technical report.

ARC at the UN

Steven Svoboda at the UN

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child. Report of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights on its fifty-third session—written statement submitted by the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), a non-governmental organization on the Roster—male circumcision

Presented 14 August 2001

Sixth International Symposium on Genital Integrity, Sydney, Australia, December 8, 2000.

The intactivist movement was represented for the first time this year at the three-week-long 52nd annual meeting of the United Nations' Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights ("Sub-Commission"). Acting pursuant to the UN Roster status of NOCIRC, and with assistance from team members Tina Kimmel and Ken Drabik who each worked with me on site for part of the session, I traveled to Geneva to work with the Sub-Commission.

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