Intactivism News
April - June 2002

More recent news

(More recent items first)


New Vision (Kampala)

Mugisu Man Flees Knife

June 22, 2002
Roger Mugisha

Residents of Kingala village, Mbale district, were treated to free drama recently when a man demanded for a fee and still refused to be circumcised.

Moses Wangusa, who was visiting his parents, was reminded by his father that he had never been circumcised and in order "to be a man", he had to honour the custom. He thought his father was joking until he saw relatives assembling and giving him presents.

One veteran performer of the ritual was notified and he too came home to inquire when it was going to take place. To frustrate them, Moses asked for sh100,000 thinking that they would not raise it.

To his surprise, the relatives raised it and gave it to him. He now knew he was cornered.

He took a boda boda that dropped him in the town at 5.30am but it was too early to get a bus. He opted for a lorry carrying matooke and made good his escape.


National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers press release
June 5, 2002

Arizona Ends Medicaid Circumcisions

PHOENIX – Arizona became the seventh state to eliminate Medicaid funding for infant circumcision this week, when Governor Jane Hull allowed the state’s budget to become law without her signature. Last year, Arizona Medicaid paid for 12,600 boys to be circumcised at an average cost of $132 per boy and a total cost of $1.66 million.

Currently, Medicaid programs in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, North Dakota and Mississippi do not cover circumcision. Nor do many private HMOs serving Medicaid recipients, as well as some private insurance companies.

Circumcision is not recommended by any national or international medical organization in the world. Medicaid pays for 25% of all US newborn circumcisions.

A 2001 report issued by the International Coalition for Genital Integrity (ICGI, documents Medicaid spends tens of millions of dollars per year on circumcision. ICGI Co-Director Dr. Rio Cruz said, “It is simply deplorable that our government uses healthcare tax dollars to subsidize a cultural procedure that causes pain, long-term harm, and violates a child’s right to bodily integrity.”

Bills have been introduced in Missouri, Michigan, and New Mexico to cease Medicaid funding of the procedure. North Carolina also has infant circumcision on its list of potential budget cuts.

Earlier report

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers
P.O. Box 2512, San Anselmo, California 94979
Tel:415-488-9883 Fax: 415-488-9660
Contact: Amber Craig, 1-919-960-9276
Marilyn Milos, 1-415-488-9883.


UN Commission Condemns Circumcision of Male and Female Children in Guinea-Bissau


UN emblem


Press Release



In Preliminary Remarks, Expert Says Government Should Use Final Conclusions as a Strategic Document to Promote and Protect Children's Rights

The Committee on the Rights of the Child today reviewed the initial report of Guinea-Bissau on how that country was implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The report states that traditional practices and customs are causing serious problems for children and women. The circumcision of boys aged 9 to 13 years and female genital mutilation in girls aged between 7 and 12 years among the Fula and Mandinga ethnic groups are the most cruel and harmful practices. There are no effective measures at the national level to eliminate them.


In his concluding remark, Dionisio Cabi, the Minister of Justice of Guinea-Bissau, said the presence of his delegation before the Committee had been advantageous and beneficial. His Government would take the recommendations of the Committee seriously and would move beyond customary laws.

* *** *


Arizona Ends Funding for Circumcision

Arizona Daily Sun

House uses prisoner releases, school cuts to help balance budget

Capitol Media Services
05/10/2002 [May 10]

PHOENIX -- State lawmakers voted Thursday to release prisoners and let them serve their sentences at home, lease new school buildings instead of buying them for cash, cut $90 million earmarked for school repairs and even stop having the state pay for circumcision of boys born to needy women, all to balance next year's $6.57 billion budget.

The plan adopted by the House also cuts 3.125 percent from most state agencies -- 2.25 percent for universities -- on top of the 4.5 percent budget reductions they already sustained to balance this year's budget.


The legislative provision on circumcision stems from the discovery that the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is charged $132 every time the procedure is performed. And with more than 12,600 baby boys born last year to women enrolled in the state health care program, that adds up.

Sen. Ruth Solomon, D-Tucson, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said lawmakers needed to seek out and eliminate every program that is not necessary.

"There are all kids of reports now that say it isn't medically necessary," she said.

Post comments to this story at

The Arizona Daily Sun welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be addressed to the editor, Arizona Daily Sun, P.O. Box 1849, Flagstaff 86002. Our fax number is 774-4790. Our e-mail address is

[The use of "even" suggests that Howard Fischer is incredulous at the State taking such a desperate measure. His amazement is unfounded. For example, New Zealand stopped state funding of circumcision some 30 years ago.]


Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen (Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association) 2001; 121: 2994

April 6, 2002

Norwegian Council for Medical Ethics opposes circumcision

Pål Gulbrandsen

The Council for Medial Ethics states that ritual circumcision of boys is not consistent with important principles of medical ethics, that it is without medical value, and should not be paid for with public funds.

The council has sent a statement to the board of the Norwegian Medical Association on this matter. Among other things, the council says that ritual circumcision of boys has no established medical benefit. Even with the use of local anaesthesia, the procedure causes pain and is associated with certain risks of medical complications. The Council for Medical Ethics states that circumcision of boys is not consistent with important principles of medical ethics laid down as general determinations in Paragraph 1 (§ 1) of the Ethical Rules for Doctors. These require doctors to uphold human health, and to cure, relieve and comfort. The council points out that it is an important factor that the child cannot give consent.

According to the council, doctors should be allowed to refuse to perform ritual circumcision as a matter of conscience. The council makes a point of noting that, when performed, even if not for medical reasons, that circumcision is a surgical operation that must be carried out according to correct principles of surgery and with proper anaesthesia. In line with the Ethical Rules for Doctors § 12, it should not be paid for by the public health service.

The council has invited relevant religious leaders in our community to work on replacing circumcision with symbolic rituals that do not involve a surgical procedure.


Earlier items

Back to the Intactivism index page.