Attorneys for the Rights of the Child Newsletter

Executive Director’s Message

We’re back. After setting an ARC record by the ten months that passed between our previous two issues, we knew we had to get a second issue of the ARC Newsletter into your hands before the year was out.

This issue includes articles by Ryan McAllister about his unique approach to intactivism blending and harmonizing many different interests and move-ments, from ARC Board Member Georganne Chapin about circumcision and universal health care, and from Lori Hanna about her history as an intactivist. Aubrey Taylor has written a report from inside the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Conference, and Robert Blissitt provides a view from outside as he hoisted signs for conference attendees to see. We are reprinting an excellent commentary on HIV and circumcision that ARC Board Member (and premier intactivist attorney) David Llewellyn published in a Ugandan newspaper. I have reviewed a recent book about FGM.

Change is in the air, folks. 2007 has been a very full, busy year. The Africa/HIV elephant in the room clearly can’t be ignored. ARC will shortly be applying to present at the 2008 International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. As we went to press, we learned that Peter Kilmarx of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave a presentation at the National HIV Prevention Conference on December 4 promoting infant circumcision as an HIV preventive in the US. Then the CDC apparently met with the AAP on December 10 as they prepare an updated position statement on circumcision. (ARC’s letter to the AAP, which was also sent with slight variations to the CDC, is reprinted in this issue.) Good news is reaching us as well.

As reported in articles reprinted in this issue, just as we went to press, the Australian Medical Association backed a call for laws banning the non-essential circumcision of infant boys. In September, Victoria became the fourth Australian state to no longer provide circumcisions at public hospitals for non-medical reasons. There now appear to be more boys being left intact in North America than boys who are being circumcised, a momentous moment of paradigm shift. Other exciting upgrades in the movement are in the works.

While not all of his superlative work is yet visible, ARC Webmaster Rick King continues to upgrade and update the ARC website. This effort will be continuing at least through the early months of the New Year. While we have talked about it several times, we finally have a dedicated law student associate, Jordan Parkhurst, who will be working with me to generate a “Know Your Rights” brochure for potential plaintiffs.

As I recently announced, Oxford University Press has published Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate (by James Sterba and Warren Farrell with Steven Svoboda). The book is a university-level gender studies textbook structured as a debate between Dr. Warren Farrell and pro-feminist Professor James Sterba. Each chapter of the book addresses a different topic, for example: Why Men Earn More. Does Popular Culture Discrimi- nate Against Men? Are Schools Biased Against Girls or Boys? The Future of Feminism and Men.

Congratulations to Amber Craig for having her letter responding to Time’s recent feature on circumcision published by the newsmagazine. (The original Time article by Jeninne Lee-St. John from the print version of the magazine is reproduced in this newsletter.)

Here at ARC, we always hope and believe we are making a difference, along with our beloved brothers and sisters in the movement, but rarely do we receive concrete news of a specific baby we helped save. Dr. Mark Reiss and I were therefore elated to hear from a pediatrician who attended our August 14, 2006 talk at Kaiser in Sacramento, California that based on our presentation, she elected to leave her baby intact! Such news is truly the best Holiday present I could imagine.

Our next issue will be out in the Spring. Until then, we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Blissful Yule, and a truly Joyous New Year.

Steven Svoboda
Executive Director
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child