Protesters Rally against Circumcision

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Peterson

A group of local protesters called on the to retract a recent statement supportive of infant male circumcision in front of the group's Elk Grove Village headquarters Monday.

While the doesn't recommend circumcision, it claims that its potential benefits outweigh the risks of harm.

The AAP's , as revised Aug. 27, is that the potential benefits -- which include prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and transmission of some sexually transmitted diseases -- justify continued access to the procedure for families who choose it in consultation with their pediatrician.

Members of the AAP's circumcision task force, whose research was the basis of the organization's position, could not be reached for comment Monday.

"This was a cultural statement, not a medical statement, from the AAP," protester Dan Strandjord of Chicago said Monday morning.

He argued that it is largely cultural reasons and the fear of lawsuits that have maintained the practice of infant male circumcision in the United States long beyond its Victorian origins in the 19th century, Strandjord said.

He believes the "potential benefits" of circumcision mentioned by the AAP are akin to recommending the removal of breast tissue from girls as a means of preventing breast cancer.

Erica Wijenayaka of Elk Grove Village, who organized the protest, said the AAP's statement makes no mention of the anatomical function of the foreskin for both male and female sexual partners. …