Sunday, September 21, 2014

✮ Please Support Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2015 ✮


Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2015 will be kicking off in March, and we need YOUR help to make this year's 7-day event a life-changing one. As advocates travel to D.C. to participate, and floods of tourists the world over gather in Washington D.C. for the height of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, it is imperative that everyone in attendance has easy to access materials on hand. Items that parents and professionals, young and old, from all backgrounds and locations in life will want to take home with them for further review. Making this happen takes a significant amount of planning and organization on the part of many people, and it also takes financial support.

If you have never been to GIAW in D.C., allow us to paint a quick picture:

You are standing with half a dozen others in front of the U.S. Capitol, and a group of 400 senior high students come up interested in what you have to share. Their teachers and chaperones are doing their best to shuffle them quickly by for a group picture and have them file back onto the bus. A lot of the time they are yelling at students to ignore demonstrators and to 'not take anything!' You have less than 5 minutes to talk with as many of these young people -- future parents who will be determining the rate of genital autonomy in the next generation -- as you can and get items into their hands that they will not toss onto the ground or into the trash, but actually want to take back with them, look up on their phone once they're on the bus, and hold onto for curiosity's sake.

This happens every single hour. Sometimes multiple times an hour. Sun-up to sun-down. The need is great. The impact is monumental. And we need your support in this important effort.


Below you can review how GIAW funds will be allocated and donate as an individual (first names and last initials only are included for privacy) or as a business sponsor with a link back to your site.

Individuals: If you are sponsoring in honor of someone, we invite you to include a note with your gift of any amount.

Businesses and Groups: Please include a note with your organization name/URL. Sponsors will be shared with the peaceful parenting Facebook and Twitter communities, as well as the Saving Our Sons and Genital Integrity Awareness Week audiences on both social networks. Businesses donating $100 or more will also have a hyperlinked image or logo featured below and on the front page of DrMomma.org and SavingSons.org throughout the entire month of March. Google stats puts DrMomma readership at approximately 500,000/month, with 150,000+ on Facebook and Twitter. The Saving Our Sons community has over 50,000. Sponsors will also be permanently listed at the Genital Integrity Awareness Week website and featured on the GIAW Facebook page. Visit sponsors from 2014 and 2013.

If you have an item you wish to donate to benefit GIAW, email SavingSons@gmail.com (In the past baby wraps, carriers, cloth diapers, restoration devices, books, DVDs, and even electronics have been donated to support genital autonomy efforts. Any and all are welcome and appreciated!)

All Supporters: For any donation of $30 or more, we invite you to select one of the Thank You Gift Packs below. Email your name, mailing address, and pack selection to SavingSons@gmail.com to receive the shipment.

Note that the GIAW event and peaceful parenting are not registered as federal charities as of Sept 2014, and therefore donations are not currently IRS tax deductible. All activities and events hosted happen because of voluntary efforts and grassroots action and fundraising.

On behalf of the next generation of babies to be born, and the adults they will become -
Thank you for your support!
Code for sharing via email:

By Mail To:

Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Progress To Goal:
$100 raised (9/30 update)


GIAW Business Sponsors
Please visit and support these baby-friendly businesses!
GIAW Individual Sponsors




Budget Breakdown
Note: Materials will only be ordered in the quantities that funding is raised for.
These are the numbers that have been needed during past GIAW events in D.C. and those we are working to fund for 2015.

Banners and Signs = $700
(if there is a sign you'd like to see professionally created for use at GIAW and future events, email SavingSons@gmail.com)

Postcards, Info Cards, Bumper Stickers, Flyers, Brochures, Binders, DVDs, Printed Matter = $1,200

Bracelets (the most popular item given away; 200/day) = $1,050

Buttons / Pins (variety) = $490

 Water Bottles, Tote Bags, Pens, Lanyards (for name tags) = $500

GA Flags for march and demonstration = $700

GA Kids Crafts and Clothesline Event = $200

Frisbees, Bubbles, GA themed coloring booklets for kids = $130

Pizza Party and Presentations = $730
(we would love for this to be a free dinner event for all - large families included)

Total: $5,700


Thank You Gifts for You


To receive a thank you gift for your donation of $30 or more, email SavingSons@gmail.com with your name, mailing address, the pack of your choice (A, B, or C), and the bracelets and info cards of your choosing. 

A) Advocate Gift Pack ($19 Value)

2 Advocacy Bracelets (select from those here
1 GIAW 2015 Commemorative Button Pin
1 Additional advocacy button or bracelet of your choice (buttons and bracelets here)
2 "His Body, His Choice" Ink Pens
Set of 100 info cards to share (4 different styles - or you may select any from those here)

B) Baby Gift Pack ($18 Value)

12 pack of Calmoseptine skin/rash cream donated by Calmoseptine Ointment [Thee best for baby bums and any irritation on skin of all ages!]
2 Advocacy Bracelets (select from those here
1 GIAW 2015 Commemorative Button Pin
1 "His Body, His Choice" Ink Pen
Set of 26 info cards to share (2 styles)

C) No-Baby Gift Pack ($20 Value)

12 pack of Durex Lubricated (Rainbow Colors) Latex Condoms donated by Durex [Number one rated condom in the world.]
2 Advocacy Bracelets (select from those here
1 GIAW 2015 Commemorative Button Pin
1 "His Body, His Choice" Ink Pen
Set of 26 info cards to share (2 styles)




~~~~

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foreskin Restoration on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon



Although couched within an aura of mockery, complete with a couple jokes about genital cutting, the fact that Jimmy Fallon highlighted Dr. Jim Bigelow's book, The Joy of Uncircumcising, may be enough to spur Tonight Show viewers into looking it up out of curiosity and stumbling into foreskin restoration options, intact information, and the many resources available today on infant circumcision.

Despite being presented in a manner that flows right along with the cutting culture in which we live, the presentation of this book for a brief two minutes on The Tonight Show last night (9.11.14) may lead to future men enjoying sex as they were meant to enjoy it... with full and complete genitals.


The Tonight Show Dialog: 

Jimmy Fallon: For all you guys out there - you guys like reading books, right? It's The Joy of Uncircumcising. And it's great. As you can see, it's a very thick book - so it must be a very joyful experience. Look who it's written by - Jim Bigelow.

Steve Higgins: Jim Big-and-Low?

Jimmy Fallon: No, no - Jim Bigelow. [camera zoom to author's name]  This book was actually a lot longer, but they cut the end off.

Steve Higgins: You used to work for a guy who did circumcisions, didn't you?

Jimmy Fallon: Ah, yeah, I didn't get paid though - I only worked for tips.


For further information on foreskin restoration, and its impact on men and their partners, visit resources on the Restoration Page.

~~~~


Thursday, August 21, 2014

★ Baby Saving Folder Drive! ★


One of the seed-planting, baby-saving activities that Saving Our Sons takes on each week is to provide expecting parents, as well as families of newborn babies in the NICU and Ronald McDonald Houses, packs of information on intact care, the benefits of the foreskin, and the facts regarding circumcision. This is only possible through the donations received with the Sponsor a Son program. Still, the needs and requests far outnumber the gifts received at SOS, and one easy way all advocates can help this month is to pick up a few extra blue folders with tabs when you're out and about shopping for school supplies. Most are on significant sale at this time of the year (50-cents or less at many stores) and we need to stock for the duration of the year when the prices per folder are significantly higher.

Saving Our Sons also directly ships packets ($4 worth and free of cost to patients requesting) to any physician, hospital staff, or clinic that is involved in cases of forced retraction. Folders and funds are needed for this project as well.

Please join us in this folder drive!
Needed are:
BLUE Folders with 3 Prongs

Each will be turned into a powerful pack of information that goes out to an expecting family, a parent who is on the fence about whether or not to keep their own son intact, or a physician/clinic who needs to be reminded of current intact care protocol and encouraged to review relevant research.

Send your folders to:
Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302
VA Beach, VA 23451

Not shopping for school supplies this year? If you would like to donate toward the drive fund itself, you can do so with the link below or via PayPal to SavingSons@gmail.com

Thank you for helping us prepare for the upcoming 2014-2015 educational year! Information is key to increasing the rate of genital autonomy each year, and we're seeing powerful success in these efforts, one baby at a time. ♥


Friday, August 15, 2014

Medical Organization Position Statements on Circumcision


No national medical organization recommends the routine genital cutting of infants without medically justified need for such surgery to take place. Infant circumcision is clearly spoken against in many nations, regardless of babies' sex (female, male, intersex) and is not supported for all babies in any nation, even those that otherwise stem from within a cutting culture.

What follows are current medical position statements from organizations across the globe today. Full statements are readily available via online searches. When we recognize that no national medical organization recommends routine infant circumcision, it becomes clear that such things should not be funded with tax payer dollars (Medicaid and similar programs), covered by health insurance (genital cutting of infants is not performed as a health treatment), or pushed upon unknowing parents by any medical staff who stands to financially gain from performing unnecessary genital surgery upon a non-consenting human being.


The above informational cards and more are free for download and printing,


Related Reading: 

Peer reviewed published research on circumcision and the functions of the foreskin: http://www.drmomma.org/2007/01/circumcision-studies.html


On the ethics of registered nurses assisting in forced infant circumcision: http://www.drmomma.org/2014/04/on-ethics-of-registered-nurses.html


The Medical Benefits of Infant Circumcision: http://www.drmomma.org/2013/05/the-medical-benefits-of-infant.html


~~~~

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Circumcision: Never Assume Parental Knowledge

By Jen Sugarbaker
names in this story have been changed to protect identies


I have a story of circumcision regret, not for my own son, but for a baby I did not save.

My brother Jim, and his girlfriend, Carrie, gave birth to a beautiful, premature baby boy. They live in the Northeast, and I live in the Southwest, but I communicate with Carrie frequently over Facebook as our boys are about the same age. When their son, Evan, was born a month and a half premature and placed in the NICU, I never even thought to talk with Carrie about circumcision. I just assumed that because her son was so small and fragile, she would not want to do anything to hurt him. I also knew that she was aware that my own son is intact, and that she would follow my lead.

I was shocked when my mother called and told me that my new nephew had been cut, only a few weeks after birth.

I learned an important lesson that day: if you know someone who is expecting, or has recently had a baby, TALK TO THEM about the dangers of circumcision and the benefits of keeping children intact. Never underestimate the other parent's naivety on the subject, or the powerful pressure a mother may be under from her partner, her family, or her medical providers to circumcise.

I wish now that I had spoken up for my nephew, and I refuse to let another opportunity like that pass me by. Please, do the same and speak up whenever you have the chance to do so.


Hear from additional parents who are keeping future sons intact, and those who have worked through circumcision regret: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html

~~~~

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Press Release: More than 200 Jewish Leaders Will Bless Intact Jewish Boys



Many Jewish Leaders, Mostly Rabbis and Cantors, will lead ‘Brit Shalom’ Covenant Rituals for Intact Jewish Boys

The movement to name newborn Jewish boys without the surgery of circumcision has reached a milestone—200 celebrants (officiants) are available to perform the ceremony. More than 120 of these are rabbis.

Called brit shalom (Hebrew for covenant of peace), this alternative naming ceremony may correspond in most ways with traditional brit milah, except that there is no cutting of the baby.

"They're especially happy ceremonies, for that reason," says Mark Reiss, M.D.

For 14 years, Dr. Reiss, of San Francisco, has been recruiting celebrants of brit shalom for his 
web page. He estimates that 300-500 boys are welcomed into their U.S. Jewish communities with brit shalom ceremonies every year. Most U.S. states, several Canadian provinces, and other countries are represented on the list. Twelve of the celebrants are in Israel.

"The celebrants include rabbis, cantors and other lay leaders, who need not reject circumcision themselves, but want to accommodate parents who do. New celebrants are always welcome," says Dr. Reiss. 


Jewish parents including Natalie BivinsMoshe RothenbergDiane TargovnikMichael S. KimmelSara Rockwell and Shawn Stark have published their experiences holding a Bris Shalom andraising intact Jewish sons.

Those who wish to contact Dr. Reiss to add their name to the list of celebrants, or to learn more about brit shalom, may do so by phone (415) 647-2687 or by email at mdreissmd [at] gmail.com



Links related to Judaism and Intactivism
Israeli Intactivist Groups (Mostly in Hebrew)

The Israeli Association Against Circumcision / Intact Son
Protect the Child
Kahal (Group for Israeli Parents of Intact Sons)


Jewish Intactivist Resources and Groups
Cut: A Movie by a Jewish Intactivist.
Jews Against Circumcision
Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective By Ron Goldman, Ph.D.
Beyond the Bris by Rebecca Wald. (A Jewish Intactivist Weblog.
)

Jewish Intactivist Families: Jewish Parents' Experiences Keeping their Sons Intact. 

Following Our Hearts: A Jewish Father's Brit Shalom Journey 
Laura Shanley: A Jewish Woman Denounces Circumcision
Moshe Rothenberg: Ending Circumcision in the Jewish Community?
Outlawing Circumcision: Good for the Jews? By Eli Ungar-Sargon. Published in the Jewish Daily Forward.
Dear Elijah: A Conservative Jewish Father's Letter to His Intact Son | Published on Peaceful Parenting.
Stacey Greenberg: My Son: The Little Jew with a Foreskin | Published in Mothering Magazine.
Michael Kimmel: The Kindest Un-Cut: Feminism, Judaism, and My Son's Foreskin | Published in Tikkun.
Circumcision Questions (letter from an intact Jew). | Published in the Northern California Jewish Bulletin.


Peaceful Covenant Texts for Jewish Parents.
What is a Jewish Brit Shalom (Covenant Without Cutting)? A 'Bloodless Bris' is Becoming Popular Among American Jews
HowJudaic is the circumcision?
 An Israeli Hebrew scholar on Biblical intactivism.
100+ Rabbis who lead covenant without cutting ceremonies worldwide.
Brit B'lee Milah Ceremony
A Brit Shalom Ceremony
Song for an Intact Jewish Boy’s Welcoming.


Judaism, the Foreskin and Human Rights.
Rabbis on a Covenant without Circumcision
Humanistic Judaism is Increasingly Intactivist
Jewish Understanding, the Foreskin, & Human Rights | Part 1.
Jewish Understanding, the Foreskin, & Human Rights | Part 2.
Jewish Understanding, the Foreskin, & Human Rights | Part 3.







~~~~

Monday, July 7, 2014

Misled Regret: The Unwanted Circumcision of My Son During Hypospadias Repair

By Ashley Focht © 2014


I was 26 when I gave birth to my first son. As any first time mom, I was worried and researching things for my baby's sake. I knew that I would breastfeed, and I was weary about vaccinations, but felt backed into a corner because I knew he would go to public school and I was not sure how to maneuver exemptions. Prior to my son's birth, circumcision was brought up once and both his father and I said yes, of course we will circumcise - that is just what you do, after all.

At birth our son had a few issues, but nothing major and the pending circumcision surgery was far from my mind. The pediatrician on call said our son may have hypospadias (where the urethra is not on the head of the penis) and that he would require surgical correction as a result. The next day, my OB came in and said he wasn't entirely positive if this was the case, but that we should ask yet another pediatrician about it. He then added that if we did not get a definitive diagnosis he could still perform the circumcision within 30 days from my son's birth. [Editor's note: If hypospadias is suspected at birth, circumcision will not be immediately performed because the assumption in many U.S. hospitals is that it will be done when corrective surgery under anesthesia is done, and that the foreskin will be used in the hypo/chordee repair.]

We had a new pediatrician the next day, who gave the same diagnosis. We went home and were told to call a urologist around 4-6 months. From the time we were home to the first appointment with the urologist, my son had no complications. He did have a short foreskin, and as he grew we were able to see how the urethra was not at the head of the penis, but not far off from its normal location. We could also see a curve to his penis. The urologist confirmed that he also had chordee. He told us that both aspects of our son's penis could be corrected with the use of his foreskin. The surgery was scheduled for 2 months out.

The night before surgery, he came down with his first illness and the appointment had to be cancelled. Around this time I became friends with two intactivists, each with an intact son. As we became friends and talked more, my husband and I questioned whether the surgery, and ultimately the circumcision that came with it, were necessary. We finally researched and felt so sick knowing that we were ready and willing to do this to our son. But what about his condition?

The urologist drilled it into our heads that he would not only have trouble urinating, but also could see complications in fertility. We wanted what was best for our son. Our pediatrician told us we should go ahead with it, and a second consult with the urologist gave me a false hope that he would try to not use our son's foreskin in reconstruction. He assured us that if it wasn't necessary to circumcise and use the foreskin for the hypospadias and chordee correction, he would tell us, but that our son's penile curvature was to such a degree that he always recommended surgical correction. We felt backed into a corner. Would our son hate us if we had the surgery? Would he hate us if we didn't? 

We scheduled again.

We backed out.

We scheduled a third time with much pressure in both directions all around us...

I really went into it thinking that I had expressed to the doctor how badly I did not want him circumcised, and I really believed our son would come out of everything with, at the very least, a repaired foreskin. Surely this physician would honor our wishes for our son as we'd expressed them all along.

The day came, and I held my son as they gave him medicine to calm him down. I watched as a nurse carried his limp body back into the OR.

I waited for 3 hours.

And then I finally saw him -- sweaty and sleeping, tubes and IVs still attached. I held him and cried as the doctor told me there wasn't enough foreskin to save and he had to be circumcised, but that everything "went great."

In that moment I hated myself. I wanted to take it all back. Deep down I knew I was making the wrong decision, and I still made it. He was bandaged up and had to have a tube coming out of his new urethra for a few days. Everything was covered, so the severity of it had not hit us just yet. We took our son back to get the bandages removed and make sure everything was healing well. When we returned home and did the first diaper change we really saw it...

We both cried. We had seen our son normal and intact for 18 months, and now we saw this.

It never got easier. Every single diaper change is a kick in the stomach -- a reminder of how I didn't stand up for my son, how I let everyone else make a decision that I knew in my gut was the wrong one. I just hope that when the time comes he will understand that his Dad and I only wanted what was best for him, that we went into thinking that the good of the surgery would outweigh the possible evil. If nothing else, I just hope he remembers how much we love him.

~~~~

Read more from parents who have regretfully had one or more son circumcised, and are keeping future sons intact at: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html


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