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Intact America Part 3: History - the pressure was both inappropriate and indefensible

October 9, 2018

When Dean Pisani and his wife were expecting a baby, the couple decided that if they had a boy, they wouldn't circumcise him. However at a doctor appointment, the ob-gyn pressured them to change their minds. And when they remained firm, she berated them. Then 18 months later, they had a similar negative experience with another doctor who was "offensive." [1] "The pressure from doctors was both inappropriate and indefensible," he said. [2] These experiences sparked Pisani, a Texas businessman, to provide financial assistance to NOCIRC. In 2008 he asked Marilyn Milos and Georganne Chapin to develop a plan to do more. After they presented the plan, he donated $1 million to create Intact America. [3]

At the first Intact America Press Conference, Executive Director Georganne Chapin announced "an American human rights campaign ... to shed light on an American cultural practice that is both very common and very strange." [4]

With no awareness of the irony, Chapin declared that parents choose circumcision based on "misinformation and misconceptions." In the very next sentence she said that "as often as not, no analgesic is used." A banner behind her indicated that more than 100 newborn babies are estimated to die from circumcision annually in the United States. [4] Both statements are common examples of anti-circumcision misinformation. [5] [6] [7]

Then Chapin made an ironic comparison. She said that a pediatrician should explain, "I wouldn't give your baby antibiotics if your baby didn't have an infection." [4]

We at Circumcision Choice defend a parent's right to choose for or against circumcision. Medical professionals should support a parent's choice, and we are disappointed that Pisani was subjected to such negative pressure. We're disappointed that the organization that he created is spreading, rather than countering, misinformation about circumcision. We're disappointed that the organization he created seeks to subject a parent - who disagrees with an anti-circumcision physician - to high-pressure tactics like those he and his wife were forced to endure. Media appearances and Petitions

Over the past ten years, Intact America's focus has been primarily online and in the media. The group's Facebook page has more than 51,000 fans, and the website attracts additional followers. The group issues press releases and leaders, primarily the executive director, appear on TV, radio, and in print. While Intact America has been successful in getting media interest, its appeals to medical authorities have been ignored. For instance, in May 2010 the group delivered a petition with more than 25,000 signatures to the Centers for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The petition expressed opposition to any CDC recommendation in favor of infant circumcision. [8] Apparently hoping to exceed that effort, six years later the group promoted a petition drive calling on the American Academy of Pediatrics to denounce circumcision. The group set a two-week goal of 29,000 signatures. [9] Despite extending the petition deadline and 17 separate appeals to its 41,000 Facebook followers, after eight months the group was able to collect just 11,000 or 12,000 signatures. The group then tried to deliver the petition twice: first to the AAP National Conference in San Francisco, and then to the AAP headquarters in Elk Grove, Illinois. Both times AAP officials refused to meet with them. [10] Intact America was forced to submit the petition by mail. [11] In describing the situation, Georganne Chapin conveniently left off the fact that Intact America delayed deliver of the petition by a full year - because barely 20% of the group's Facebook fans bothered to sign it.

Celebrity appeals

Intact America frequently cites celebrities who oppose circumcision, explaining that "they have tremendous influence in America's popular culture." [12] This has led to some embarrassing moments. Gregory Jackson, known by his internet personality Onision, was named Intactivist of the Month in 2016. [13] Onision said that an ex-girlfriend cannot be raped because she is a "slut." [14] He has made frequent derogatory attacks against both women and men.

Intact America has honored actress Roseanne Barr several times. But the group hasn't mentioned Roseanne since her controversial May 29 tweet connecting former White House official Valerie Jarrett with the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Intactivists seem to have a fascination with Jimmy Kimmel. When the late night talk show host revealed that he had undergone penile surgery, Georganne Chapin assumed that Kimmel had been circumcised during infancy and the surgery was to correct meatal stenosis. She concluded that a show clip in which a member of Kimmel's cast asks people about fake news was a "sly thumbs down message about circumcision." [15] In this case a woman named Esther had been asked about a fake news story, "Do you think it was irresponsible for President Barack Obama not to have his newborn son Marcus circumcised?" [16]

Perhaps it's a sly thumbs up - that people who oppose circumcision are clueless. In all seriousness, Esther's message is clearly supportive of parental choice.

And last year Kimmel seemed to confirm that he is uncircumcised. When Jon Stewart crashed his show and told a young Jewish fan that Kimmel wasn't circumcised, the host merely nodded in agreement.

Tenth Anniversary

Last month Intact America celebrated its 10th anniversary. Rather than celebrate with a party or a video montage celebrating its achievements, the group marked the milestone by making multiple appeals for donations. We think that speaks volumes about its true motive.

[1] Dean Pisani; "Intact America First Press Conference - Part 4"; New York, NY; June 22, 2009

[3] Georganne Chapin; "Georganne Chapin - Intact America"; James Loewen; New York, NY; June 16, 2011

[4] Georganne Chapin; "Intact America First Press Conference - Part 1" New York, New York; June 22, 2009

[5] Andrew Gross; "Myths About Circumcision - REFUTED", Myth #3; Circumcision Choice; January 5, 2018.

[6] Physician Contributor; "From the Physicians' Lounge #2"; Circumcision Choice; June 23, 2017. "I can honestly say than I know of no newborn circumcision performed without local or topical analgesia in the last 20+ years! (The change started happening in the mid to late 1990s.) If you know a physician still doing circumcision without pain control, then they are not practicing within the American standard of care. They should have changed their practice a long time ago! It would be unthinkable for a new physician to come to town and try to perform circumcisions without numbing the foreskin -- hospitals, clinics, and parents would not allow it."

[7] Jake Waskell; "Fatally flawed: Bollinger's circumcision death calculations"; Circumcsion News; May 8, 2010

[11] Georganne Chapin; "Dear Dr. Remley"; Intact America Blog; March 7, 2017 [12] "Intactivists of the Month: Pro-intact celebrities"; Intact America; October, 2016

[13] "Intactivist of the Month: Onision"; Intact America; January 1, 2016 [14] Fruzsina Eördögh; YouTuber inflames viewers with rape comments; The Daily Dot; January 25, 2012

[15] Georganne Chapin; "Jimmy Kimmel Gives a Sly Thumbs-Down to Circumcision"; Intact America Blog; March 25, 2015

[16] LieWitness News - President Obama Edition; Jimmy Kimmel Live; March 15, 2015 (quote begins at 1:59)

October 7: Part 1 - Introduction

October 8: Part 2 - They're unreliable because they lie

October 9: Part 3 - History - the pressure was both inappropriate and indefensible


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