Many of us who diligently work for the rights of children, especially helpless newborn males, are astonished by an Arizona lawmaker, Sen. Judy Burges of Sun City, who is calling for Arizona to ban female genital mutilation. Clearly we oppose the cultural practice commonly carried out in Africa and other parts of the world, often on the pretext of tradition and muting a female’s wanton sexual desires. Surely, some immigrants to the U.S. from those areas are having it done here under the radar and outside of prosecution under 1996 federal laws that banned female circumcision.

We who find male and female circumcision repulsive, unwarranted, cruel and defiant of medical ethics are seeing once again that this lawmaker and supporters are blind to what is routinely done to young males.  How can one be justified and the other cutting banned? It is even illegal in the U.S. to make a pinprick to a girl’s genital to satisfy an “ritual” requirements.  But boys’ genitals are altered for life, not to mention more than 100 dying in the U.S. from circumcisions gone wrong, plus thousands with botched circumcisions, include skin bridges, overly tight cutting that make erections painful and much more.

The Arizona Legislature is moving the female ban forward.  Here is a letter I have written to a senator who showed some enlightenment  by speaking up for males:

Senator David Bradley Arizona State Senate 1700 W. Washington Room 313 Phoenix, AZ 85007 Dear Senator Bradley:

Re: Circumcision bill in the Arizona Legislature

How heartening it was to read Howard Fischer’s Capitol Media article in which you offered some thoughts on Senate Bill 1342, introduced by Sen. Judy Burges of Sun City West.  You nailed it on the head when you suggested that “perhaps the proposal should be extended to procedures done on boys.” 

As a health care administrator, you well know the human rights quest for decades to awake the medical community to the intrusion of male circumcision.  It is a practice imposed on helpless, defenseless males who would never have asked for it, as shown by the sheer paucity of uncut males who grow up and then have it done on their own. They are few. Circumcision is a dirty little practice because of a deceived, uninformed populace while the health industry happily goes along to reap  $200 or far more each time they spend 12-15 minutes cutting a foreskin. And parents are cowards to watch.

Where are the medical ethics? Where are human rights? Where is a child’s right to sovereignty over his own body? Why doesn’t he have the rights to grow up to be whole and complete as God and nature made him? Why does government sit back and permit such de facto sexual assault on the helpless?

Lawmakers need to end the hypocrisy, the double standard and recognize the 14th Amendment of equal protection under the law.   Stop trivializing male circumcision. Genital cutting is genital mutilation — male and female. All that nonsense about it being a little snip that doesn’t impact sexuality is rubbish. Tell a female that having her labia trimmed up is acceptable.

All humans should be safe from such seizures and destruction of healthy body parts and structures. More than a few males today resent that they lost their foreskins — the covering, the protection, the sensitive body part, the moisturizing structure — and it can’t be replaced. For eons, males have been largely safe to keep their foreskins. Only in the U.S. is it culturally entrenched cosmetic surgery on the helpless and non-consenting. Arizona lawmakers should be bold and protect all from the intrusions of circumcision. The circumcision industry, sadly, makes hundreds of millions because ignorant parents permit it.  I truly loving, thoughtful parent respects the genital integrity of each child. The U.S. Congress banned female genital mutilation in 1996, so an Arizona law of the same nature might well be unnecessary.  Females have protected foreskins.  Why aren’t males protected?  Our son and grandsons are intact because our instincts told us that circumcision was a repulsive and cruel act.

Sen. Bradley, you hail from Seattle, Wash., a state, like Arizona, which does not pay for Medicaid circumcisions on minors because it cannot be justified. Arizona was the seventh state in 2002 to end the reimbursement.  Seattle is home of Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC)

We urge you to take your enlightened idea to amend the bill to include all people — male and female– to be protected from unwanted, medically unethical circumcision. It will be one step to a more civilized and kinder Arizona. End the screams, the lifetime of scars, the medical insult of circumcision.

Lawn Griffiths