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Cruel intactivists taunt grieving families

Published April 2, 2018 Updated May 11, 2022

Just when we think that anti-circumcision fanatics can't go any lower, they continue to surprise us. Last week a parent whose one month-old son died in a bed sharing accident published a public post in order to bring awareness to this risk and prevent the same tragedy from happening to other babies. On Saturday a stranger sent her this heartless and malicious response.

It was the latest of several messages the mother received taunting and blaming her for her son's death. No justification can rationalize this malicious attack. The circumcision had nothing to do with the mother accidentally falling asleep with her son. Intactivists are not "educating." The only purpose of this cruelty is to inflict additional pain on a grieving parent.

This is not an isolated incident. We're familiar with several other cases in which intactivists have blamed parents when the cause of death was unrelated to circumcision. A few years ago intactivists told parents whose child died from a brain-eating organism that circumcision may have been the cause of death. In another case, after a boy in the NICU was circumcised, a veangeful intactivist reported the parents to CPS, accusing doctors and parents of child abuse. Intactivists have badgered families, telling them that they should blame the doctor and sue the hospital. They have used babies' photos and full names without permission, ignoring the appeals of grieving relatives to be left alone.

This veangeful attitude is shared by the intactivist leadership. Marilyn Milos, the founder of NOCIRC who has been described as "the compassionate nurse who founded intactivism," celebrated the 2016 death of Dr. Edgar Schoen, chair of the 1988 AAP Task Force on Circumcision. Intact America Executive Director Georganne Chapin calls circumcision "evil," and she labels anyone who supports the procedure "the enemy."

We've noticed that other intactivists try to disavow any responsibility for the bad behavior of their peers. They say that they themselves don't participate in such behavior, but engage only in "gentle intactivism." We reject this attempt to disassociate themselves from responsibility. We hold responsible anyone who collaborates with a bully and who doesn't criticize the bully to his face. With a few exceptions, the intactivist movement is rotten from the core.

Anti-circumcision fanatics are not the only "natural baby" militants who harass grieving parents. In a 2022 op-ed published in the New York Times, a mother posted on Twitter that she lost her 2 1/2 month-old son. "Within a day, a stranger ... created an image of my tweets side-by-side: one from July where I shared my relief at being vaccinated while pregnant and another from September with the story of my loss." The mother wrote that "the autopsy showed no connection between our son's death and any vaccinations." We've observed a high correlation between anti-circumcision fanatics and militant anti-vaxxers, so this cruelty is not a surprise.

We'll close by making this inescapable observation. An intactivist who callously attacks grieving parents - who are educating others in order that they may protect their children from a tragic accident - is not saving babies, but inflicting cruelty. The grieving parents are the ones who are saving babies.


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