Pennsylvania Mother Charged For Bloody Chicken Sacrifice; U.S. Baby Blood Sacrifice Continues

Moa Wild Chicken

It is my personal belief that the right to perform or act within my chosen religion extends only as far as your right to perform or act within your chosen religion (or non-religion). The boundaries in which I may express and celebrate and participate in my religion does not extend beyond the point at which I would be doing harm, or inflicting pain, on another non-consenting human being - to you, a friend, family member, or my own baby or child.

People across the nation are up in arms about a Pennsylvania woman who forced her 7 year old daughter to observe a bloody religious ritual in New Jersey. According to the Associated Press, she has been sentenced to 18 months probation for the May 2007 ordeal.

Passaic County prosecutors say Yenitza Colichon of Jamesburg, PA, was about to start Army basic training and wanted to protect her daughter in the Palo Mayombe religion before she left. It is a religion that originated in central Africa, and one that the Colichon family observed. As part of the religious practices, Colichon had her daughter watch an initiation rite in Paterson, NJ, that included a chicken sacrifice, and feeding the girl the chicken's heart.

The girl later told her school teacher that she was having nightmares and child welfare officials were contacted. Colichon recently plead guilty to child neglect and cruelty charges.

What is interesting here is the ubiquitousness with which onlookers are cheering the system for punishing Colichon - for simply following her own religious tradition of blood sacrifice that includes her minor child... And yet we continue to be ashamed to speak up about our own blood sacrifices performed on the bodies of U.S. born babies every day in this nation -- those which usually take place with no religious justification at all.

How can we continue on this plight of hypocrisy and ignorance? To shed the blood of a chicken, and force a child to take part, may be despicable and disrespectful of that child's wellbeing. But isn't it equally (or more-so) despicable and disrespectful to shed the blood of a child, and force that small, defenseless human being to take part in a blood letting cutting ritual? Where are those criminal charges?

Before we jump all over yet another African religion being practiced on U.S. soil, why not turn our attention to our own barbaric traditions and first do no harm to our own children. Stop cutting babies.


Research U.S. forms of genital cutting, the prepuce organ (amputated in U.S. style MGM), and the benefits of keeping children intact through resources (books, sites, articles) at: Are You Fully Informed?

Looking into the origins of U.S. style blood sacrifice on children? Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America is an excellent and thorough scholarly account on the religious history of genital cutting as we know it today.

Additional reports on the Colichon case:

CBS/New York

New Jersey Real Time News


I took my newborn in for a nose-job...

By Mandi Woolery © 2011
Read more from Woolery at: Peachy Keen Birth Services

So, I took my newborn in for a nose-job…
and his pediatrician flipped out on me. Can you freaking believe it?!

I told her that his nose looked different than my husband’s, and I’d like them to look the same. This should avoid any awkward questions when he’s older. The doc looked at me like I was insane and told me that was no reason to perform elective surgery on a neonate.

I told her that the girls would probably like him better when he started dating if he had a nose-job. Again, baffled, the doctor told me that she could not, and would not, perform cosmetic surgery on a newborn for such a ridiculous reason.

I told the doc that I had heard a rumor that my son would be less likely to get rhinitis later in life if we removed a little of his schnozola. Starting to show a little concern for my parenting, she told me that there was no conclusive evidence to support elective surgery as a means of effectively preventing complications or infection in adulthood.

Starting to get impatient, I told her that I just wanted to get this over with. After all, my son would probably decide later in life that he’d like a designer nose, so it was better to just have it done now while he was too little to remember, and probably couldn’t feel it anyway. Looking at me like I was bonkers, she asked me what made me think that this perfectly formed little person wasn’t capable of feeling pain. Hadn’t he shrieked when he had a tiny pin-prick to draw blood from his heel? Of course he could feel pain!

I told her that I thought it would be easier for him to keep his nose clean if we just took a tiny bit off. I could see the doc making a mental note to call child protective services on my crazy ass, but she humored me and explained that it’s very easy to teach a child how to properly clean his nose.

I told her that I was afraid that years later all of his friends at school might have a certain kind of nose, and that he would be ridiculed for his. The doctor told me that everyone’s nose is different, and that she would not be performing elective surgery on a newborn for such an asinine reason.

I told her that I heard that lots of people were having their newborns’ noses done. She didn’t even have an answer for this one… she was just so shocked that her jaw hung open!

I told her that this was my baby, and I wanted this nose-job done today! After all, how risky could it be? The doc told me that performing surgery on a newborn is always risky, and should only be done when absolutely necessary for the well-being of the baby. END OF DISCUSSION. No nose-job would be happening for my baby today.

Disappointed, I began to leave. But then I remembered the other reason I had brought my baby in to the pediatrician’s office that day.

“When can we have him circumcised?” I asked.

“We can fit him in today if you’d like!” replied the doc. “Although your insurance doesn’t cover it any longer, so you’ll have to pay the full $500 up front. Is that okay?”

“Sure!” I replied, as I walked my baby back.

In retrospect, the nose-job probably wasn’t a good idea. Thank God my son’s pediatrician has the integrity to refuse to perform cosmetic surgery on a newborn!


Mandi Woolery is a mommy to three kiddos, wife to a super-supportive man, and owner of Peachy Keen Birth Services, located in Upland, CA. After having an all-around horrible birth experience the first time around, Mandi's passion for gentle birth began. She now teaches natural childbirth classes, and is constantly rewarded as she witnesses her students making informed decisions. In addition to preparing expectant couples through her Natural Childbirth classes, Mandi also has the great honor of attending births as a doula, and is in the process of obtaining her birth doula certification through DONA International. Update: Woolery is now working in the health field as a registered nurse. Medical Professionals for Genital Autonomy.

Also by Woolery: 

A Public Apology to My Circumcised Son

Related Reading: 

Routine Toe Removal Has Benefits

The Medical Benefits of Infant Circumcision

We're Piercing My Baby's Tongue: Here's

My Baby, My Choice: Why I pierced my baby's dimple:

The Surgeon and the Consultant: A Circumcision Conversation

Trust that his body will work exactly the way that it was made to.

Postcards at Etsy

Functions of the Foreskin
Medical Professionals for Genital Autonomy

Professional materials for sharing at Etsy.


No Circ Samurai: Original Masterpiece to Benefit Intact Organizations

No Circ Samurai: Panel One

The latest masterpiece by Intact Austin, Texas artist, Nique Bilbo, was influenced in part by his wife, Laura, and her relentless desire for all babies to be left whole as they come into this world. Nique spent time in Japan and was struck by the vast differences between the U.S. and the Japanese culture he was immersed in. While there, Nique was honored to work with individuals who demonstrated what the preservation of the body really means. After returning to the U.S., Nique has shared in his wife's passion to provide all parents with accurate and complete information on intact issues before their children are born. It is a story that hits close to home for Nique and Laura -- their first two sons were circumcised at a time when Laura says she did not have access to research based information, and everyone around kept saying she "must do it."

Their third child, Samuel, is intact, and Laura frequently shares her story openly and honestly with others at Keeping Future Sons Intact and various parenting forums. "I am blessed to have a husband who trusts me when I say I'd like to research something more indepth before we make a parenting decision together," says Laura. As a result of Samuel's parents' drive to share what they wished they'd known long ago for his older brothers, many of his peers have been spared the tragedy of genital cutting as well.  When we know better, we can do better, and Nique and Laura are living examples of this.

No Circ Samurai: Panel Two

One of Samuel's nicknames, lovingly called such by his parents, is "Sam Samurai." With a background in Japanese culture, and Samuel lighting up their lives, it came naturally to Nique to speak of a samurai when discussing genital integrity and the protection of babies everywhere.

Laura, who has been a baby-saver in a variety of ways herself [see: Taking Down Babywise: A Hero] says, "I am so lucky Nique is supportive. He doesn't think I am crazy, and loves me for caring about all these babies so much! My baby obsession was more than he bargained for in the beginning, but my boys are very, very lucky to have him as a role model artistically, as well as for a father. I feel so fortunate they have this connection with him."

No Circ Samurai: Panel Three

No Circ Samurai is currently being auctioned off on eBay and can be found here. The piece measures a total of 90" long and 40" tall. Each individual panel measures 30 x 40 inches. No Circ Samurai is varnished with an environmentally safe UV-resistant clear coat to preserve and protect the painting. It is a new, original piece that has previously been hung for gallery display and photography purposes only. One Austin Museum of Art critique reported, "Vibrant reds, blues, and greens make this one of the most beautiful, original contemporary art pieces to come out of Austin, Texas in recent years." The piece will be shipped for free by the artist to the winning bidder. The painting's auction closes at 2:24pm PDT this coming Friday, June 24.

Nique intends to donate a portion of the profit from the sale of his painting to the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC),, and the Austin Museum of Art.


Russell Crowe on Circumcision

New Zealand-born actor and musician from Australia, Russell Crowe, stirred things up this morning when he tweeted on the subject of genital integrity: "Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."

It must have caused a stir, because he later added, "Wasn’t intending offense, certainly wasn’t intending to provide fodder for lazy journalists. I can’t apologize for my heartfelt belief," and his original post disappeared.

Maybe a call came in from his publicist... celebs who would be as outspoken in their advocacy for boys as they are for girls are often having to tame things to walk the line and 'make everyone happy.' We can shout from the mountain tops in our fight to protect minor girls, just so long as we don't stir the pot too much when it comes to our recognition that boys and men inherently have the same basic human rights as girls and women. Just as suddenly as his previous statement was made, came the apology he said he couldn't make:
This is a great forum for communication. I, like any human have my opinions and you all have yours, thank you for trusting me with them.
I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities. I’m very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress.
My personal beliefs aside, I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry. 
To the critics who called his stance on genital autonomy something that it was not, Crowe clarified, "I have many Jewish friends. I love my Jewish friends... but stop cutting your babies. I will always stand for the perfection of babies. I will always believe in God, not man's interpretation of what God requires."

Thank you for standing up on behalf of your own sons, and for boys the world over, Russell.

Drop a word of appreciation to Russell Crowe on his Twitter page here or Facebook Fan page here

Additional information on the prepuce organ ("foreskin"), intact care and circumcision at: Are You Fully Informed? 

TMZ clip on the media frenzy surrounding Crowe and his statements (and one of his close Jewish friends comes to his defense): 

Crowe's famous tweet showed up among intact posters at parades this summer.
Photo courtesy of the Barefoot Intactivist

Born Perfect? Yes, he is. Learn more:

Ballooning in the Intact Child

By Jennifer Coais, M.D. © 2011

Penis Balloons! They are the occasional delight of growing up as an intact boy.

I always have to giggle when I hear stories about pediatricians who ignorantly warn parents that their son’s ballooning penis is now prone to infection or other complications and must be treated promptly. This makes me laugh primarily because my own son, who is now three, delights in this normal developmental process every single day, and has done so since he was around ten months of age. In fact, I'd venture to say that most intact boys will enjoy the fun of making penis balloons at some point or another during their childhood, whether his parents realize it or not. Honestly, though, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry because these types of statements from medical doctors are not only ridiculously false, but they speak to a serious delinquency in the basic understanding of the intact penis. This is a topic I revisit time and time again with parents and it seems that, despite all the information now available, parents are still being fear-mongered into unnecessary, harmful treatments and/or prepuce amputations on the grounds of one of the most normal, natural phases of the development of the intact child: ballooning.

What is Ballooning?

Ballooning occurs when the foreskin begins to separate or has separated from the glans (head) of the penis but the foreskin opening remains narrow. As a boy urinates the urine will fill the empty space between the foreskin and glans, and create a ballooning effect. As the urine escapes through the narrow opening the balloon will slowly decrease in size (deflate) and the foreskin will return to its normal state.

ballooning penis of a two year old male child

What Parents Need to Know

1. As discussed in Basic Care of the Intact Child, the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis at birth by a thin membrane known as synechia. At some point this natural adhesion will begin to release, allowing the foreskin to differentiate from the glans. This can happen at any age, but is quite common in toddlers and in early childhood. Keep in mind that just because the foreskin has separated from the glans, it is not an indication that the foreskin can be retracted. In order for retraction to take place a second process must occur, a widening of the foreskin opening.

The opening of the foreskin generally remains very tight and non-elastic during infancy and early childhood. This serves to protect the developing penis from feces, bacteria, viruses, and harmful pathogens. Essentially, the opening acts as a sphincter and only relaxes to allow urine to pass. With the release of hormones, predominantly during puberty, the tissues of the foreskin will become more elastic and the opening will widen. Naturally, when the foreskin opening widens in later childhood, ballooning that may have once occurred no longer happens as the urine stream is unobstructed by the once narrower opening. As noted in The Phony Phimosis Diagnosis, retraction of the foreskin is a sexual function and usually occurs after the age of ten. Full retraction of the foreskin may only take place at the end of puberty -- this is normal. Ballooning may occur for many years during toddler/childhood until a boy has the hormones of puberty kick in.

2. Ballooning actually serves a few important purposes in the development of the intact penis. The body, in fact,  knows exactly what it is doing! First, because separation of the foreskin often occurs many years before the opening widens, ballooning serves to rinse out any expired skin cells from underneath the foreskin. It’s nature’s perfect way of keeping things tidy and ridding the body of old skin cells. Second, this process serves to maintain a differentiation between the glans and foreskin during the years in which a boy remains non-retractable. Ballooning serves to gently, and over time, stretch the two organs into their own separate space, discouraging a re-adhesion of the foreskin to the glans (re-adhesion is something we commonly see in boys who have had their foreskin amputated via circumcision surgery - the body attempts to heal itself with the tissues it has left, and there is no natural ballooning process that can take place, because no foreskin any longer exists). Third, ballooning aids in helping the entire foreskin separate from the glans over a normal duration of years. Typically only a small portion of the foreskin will separate from the glans at a time, and the pressure of the urine will slowly release other areas of the foreskin, little by little. Of course, just as every girl experiences a unique separation of her prepuce ("clitoral hood") from the glans of her clitoris, every boy experiences separation unique to his foreskin and the glans of his penis. It may happen all at once, almost overnight, or over many years - all variations are normal. Nature makes very few mistakes, and this ballooning phase, when it occurs, is not only normal, but beneficial to the overall development of the intact child.

In this ballooning child, you can see that the prepuce (foreskin) has separated on one side from the glans where ballooning is taking place, while still remaining tightly adhered on the other side. This is normal, as the prepuce typically takes several weeks, months or even years to separate completely.

3. Ballooning will not cause infection, in fact, it is quite the opposite. As mentioned above, urine serves to wash out dead skin cells. Urine is sterile, and a narrow foreskin opening prevents fecal bacteria, a primary cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs), from entering the urethral opening, while urine flushes out anything that potentially enters or meets the tip of the penis. Urine does not linger or fester under the foreskin - it exits, and takes with it the body's natural waste cells and any other irritants that have come into contact with the penis. For more about the ways that the foreskin serves to protect against UTIs, see this article.

4. At onset, ballooning may be accompanied by discomfort, itching, redness and/or swelling. Often, a boy’s foreskin will separate from the glans with few or no symptoms. However, in other cases a boy will experiences one or more of these symptoms at the onset of separation. Swelling and redness are common because the foreskin is very vascular and, like the lips of the mouth when stretched or irritated, it tends to react to small traumas in this way. Some boys will experience discomfort as urine stings the freshly separated glans that is now exposed for the very first time in this child's life. This discomfort may be acute (like a quick sting) or more pronounced, depending on the situation, and is commonly mistaken for a UTI because the pain only occurs when the boy is urinating, and almost always when a child is very young and the glans has separated for the first time. The good news is that the freshly separated glans smooths over within a few days and the stinging with urination will cease. Sometimes parents can ask their son to urinate in a bucket or bathtub of water as a way to ease this temporary discomfort; however, this will not work for a many boys as the foreskin opening is simply too small to allow the water to dilute the urine prior to contact with the glans. [Note that the intense pain and stinging that would occur if the foreskin is torn and cut from the glans in infancy due to circumcision is much more intense than this natural, gentle separation of the two organs with normal development.]

After ballooning, the penis returns to its previous state.

Premature separation caused by forced retraction or manipulation of the foreskin by a care provider can make for a very painful separation experience later. After forced retraction occurs (especially if it has been a repeated event) the foreskin typically re-adheres to the glans in an effort to heal itself. Tiny tears and areas of scar tissue are left from forced retraction, that are then torn and cause an increase in pain when natural separation occurs months to years later. This is one of the many reasons that no one should ever manipulate, "mess with," or retract an intact baby or child.

Foreign microbodies on the hands of well-meaning care providers can change the pH of the genitals when introduced into the penis during forcible retraction. This change in pH may increase the likelihood of yeast spore overgrowth. Yeast infection has been known to instigate premature and painful separation episodes, so parents should be watchful for any symptoms that could indicate a yeast infection (creamy discharge, itchiness, bright red spots around the groin or anus). As with girls, yeast infection is most common during the diaper wearing years, or after exposure to chlorinated swimming pools or other harsh chemicals that interfere with the body's natural pH. Yeast (naturally present on all human beings) is only problematic when it gets out of hand and is easily treated with acidophilus and other medications. Check out Basic Care of the Intact Child for more about yeast. Symptoms of normal separation can come and go throughout childhood, as the foreskin continues to differentiate itself from the glans. These symptoms resolve themselves, are not cause for concern or doctor's visits, and do not require special medical attention. For more about this subject in particular, please refer also to Painful Urination During Prepuce Separation.

In Closing

Hopefully, as circumcision rates in the U.S. continue to plummet, information on the normal penis and its natural development will become as commonplace as it is in the rest of the intact world. For now, we can be thankful that there are research based locations like peaceful parenting, where physicians, educators, and parents can come together with experiences and informed insight. I can remember how worried and uncertain I felt when my first son started to balloon. At the time I knew little about this normal phase of development. Thankfully, I had a fantastic network of well-educated mothers and professionals to help me decipher what was happening, and can now share this important information with others. Don't be afraid to speak up as well, you may be the only one who ever does in your circle of influence.

Related Reading:

Extreme Ballooning in the Intact Child: This, too, is normal

Intact Care Resource Page:

Does Circumcision Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

With contributions by Jeff Graw, Intact Colorado, and Danelle Day

Circumcision can cause sexual problems for men; especially for older men, and here’s why:

1) The foreskin contains the highest concentration of nerve cells in a man’s body; circumcision destroys these cells.

2) Removing the foreskin causes the glans (head) to keratinize (skin becomes thicker and less sensitive). An organ that was meant to be internal must adapt to being external.

3) The foreskin contains many blood vessels, and removing them impacts the blood supply to the penis, decreasing normal vasocongestion (localized swelling of blood and erection) with sexual stimulation.

As a result, it should not be surprising to find medical studies providing evidence that circumcision can result in erectile complications. See the following:

Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation:

Tang WS, Khoo EM. "Prevalence and correlates of premature ejaculation in a primary care setting: A preliminary cross-sectional study." Journal of Sexual Medicine, 14 Apr. 2011.

Adult male circumcision: effects on sexual function and sexual satisfaction in Kisumu, Kenya.

This is especially found to be true when comparing U.S. markets for Viagra (where the majority of sexually active men are circumcised) with E.D. pharmaceutical sales in other nations around the globe (where the majority of sexually active men are intact). From a financial perspective then, E.D. is not a 'problem' but a 'benefit' - the higher the rates of erectile dysfunction, the better the sales and cash flow for its treatment.

Related Reading:

Is Your Circumcision Making You Soft? Also at:

Is Circumcision Why We Need Viagra?

Acquisition of Erectile Dysfunction from Circumcision:

Does circumcision cause erectile dysfunction?

Foreskin Sexual Function/Circumcision Sexual Dysfunction

The Rise of Viagra: How the little blue pill changed sex in America [book]

CIRCUMserum: Renewal Ointment for the Circumcised Man

Could circumcision be impacting your erection?
Unfortunately, the answer for many American men is yes.

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