Steven Svoboda Overviews History of Circumcision and Intactivism on Maria Sanchez Show



On January 8, 2014, I appeared on the "Maria Sanchez Show." Maria is a longtime friend of ARC and intactivism; we did our first show together way back in the year 2003.

In this half-hour-long show, released by Maria on January 9, 2014, as a downloadable podcast at,  I had the pleasure of doing something I don't ever remember doing before in a media appearance, namely, overviewing the entire history of circumcision and of intactivism. We also reviewed some of the important events of 2013, including: the growing recognition of genital integrity at the United Nations (as reported on in our latest newsletter by Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum), Lena Nyhus' awesome work in Denmark, the important statement by the five Nordic Children's Ombudsmen, the September 2013 case out of Hamm, Germany that reaffirmed the right to genital integrity under German law, the October 2013 pediatric ethics conference in Charleston, South Carolina at which we (ARC Legal Advisor Peter Adler, Aubrey Taylor, Angel Alonso-Terron, and I) effectively won a debate with Dr. Michael Brady and Dr. Douglas Diekema (the latter participating informally, as it were) of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the groundbreaking September 2013 conference I was fortunate enough to attend and to present at, held at the University of Keele in the UK. I also mentioned that the paper that came out of the Charleston event, co-authored by Adler, Robert S. Van Howe, and me, will be appearing this year in a special issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics that will be devoted to the proceedings from Charleston.

On Maria's show, I predicted that the current advocates of circumcision at the AAP will be recanting their positions within a decade, and also that within a decade rates will be significantly lower than they are today. Our task, I noted, is to work to protect as many children as possible until that day that we know is coming when this practice will end.

As stated in a recent communication to me by one of the physicians on the panel with me in Charleston who changed his mind based on our presentation of the facts, "If there is no evidence to support circumcision, then why perform an unnecessary procedure?"

To all our readers, I wish the happiest of New Years. We truly all have so much for which to be thankful.


Steven Svoboda

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child



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