Saturday, September 27, 2014

JEWISH JOURNAL: Religious Agenda Creeps Into Natural Birth Movement

By golly, it's been a while.

I wish I had more time to sit down and tackle this issue, but life keeps me busy. I commend all my fellow intactivists who sacrifice their time and money for this cause. My current situation is one such that I can't.

Sometimes, however, I'll come across something that lights a fire in me too great to contain, that it has to spill onto this blog.

Now is one of those times.

It really bothers me when someone with a clear agenda, tries to pretend not to have one, while at the same time, accusing others of that very thing.

In English, we call this type of behavior "projection."

Or in layman's terms, the pot calling the kettle black.

I recently came across an opinion piece on the Jewish Journal, where one Wendy Kenin tries to argue that intactivists are "anti-Semites," and that they're "creeping into" the natural birth movement. (While, of course, she herself is trying to sneak in her own personal religious convictions.)

Reads the headline:
"Anti-Semitism creeps into ‘Natural Childbirth’ movement"
 ... as it must. This is an article that attempts to decry those within the natural childbirth movement who condemn infant circumcision as being "unnatural," which it is. And, naturally, if you say anything negative about circumcision, you must automatically be an anti-Semite. It's just the way the formula works.

As if infant circumcision were an exclusively Jewish practice. As if circumcision were a universal practice among Jews. As if only Jewish mothers were being targeted by intactivsts.

Kenin is either incredibly dense and ignorant, or she is betting that her readers are. Seeing as this is a post on the Jewish Journal, she is more than likely just preaching to the choir.

The article begins:

"It’s the special treatment reserved for Jews that earns the anti-circumcision “intact-ivism” movement the label 'anti-Jew.'"

It's the special treatment of reproach reserved for those who oppose male circumcision, but not who oppose female circumcision, in the so-called name of "religious freedom" and "parental choice," that earns Jewish advocates of male infant circumcision the label "self-serving special pleaders."

Intactivists do not reserve "special treatment" for Jews; we oppose the forced genital mutilation of ALL healthy, non-consenting individuals, regardless of race, religion, creed, culture or sex, no exceptions.

1.2 million babies boys are circumcised in this country; only 0.6% of these babies or less are circumcised at Jewish religious ceremonies.

Intactivists counsel ALL parents against circumcising their boys.

That we "reserve special treatment for Jews" is a categorically false accusation.

"And it’s the large space created for intactivist representation within the natural childbirth movement which unfortunately poisons this otherwise effective and necessary maternal health community."

Says Kenin, as she tries to poison the maternal health community herself.

I find it quite ironic that people like Kenin would like others to believe that intactivists "enjoy a large space" within the natural birth movement, while circumcision advocates, particularly Jewish advocates of infant circumcision, are exiled, on the outside looking in.

Actually, it's quite the opposite. Advocates of male infant circumcision, Jewish and non, have enjoyed a large space within medicine and natural childbirth, and it is they which, unfortunately poison the conversation. Of the six members of the American Academy of Pediatrics' "Taskforce on Circumcision," no less than 2 were Jewish, one of whom openly talked about having circumcised his own son on his kitchen table. While circumcision advocates, both Jewish and non, have enjoyed lofty positions within the AAP, and lay parenting forums on baby websites and Facebook, intactivists struggle to be heard, often being dismissed as, you guessed it, "anti-Semites" and "parent bashers."

That intactivists are starting to make the scene is only quite a recent development. Even today, circumcision advocates within birthing and medicine communities like Kenin, do their best to ascertain that anyone who has anything negative to say about infant genital mutilation is kept out.

It is despicable that circumcision advocates, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, are laying claim to the natural birth movement, calling for anyone who opposes the unnatural act of mutilating a healthy child's genitals to be expelled, as if they were entitled to make such demands.

Can you imagine those who advocate for caesarian birth trying to kick out vaginal birth advocates out of the natural birth movement? Can you imagine Nestle trying to muscle their way into the natural birth movement, saying that those who advocate in favor of breastfeeding ought to be kicked out? Well, it's kind of like that.

"As a childbirth doula (labor coach) in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am honored to support women of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds and to work on the cutting edge of patient rights and women’s health along with a growing movement of informed practitioners who are advocating for birth options and evidence-based practices."

I wonder how far she supports women "of diverse ethnicities and and backgrounds." Does she support women intent on circumcising their daughters? Or is this only about Jewish women who want to fulfill their religious convictions?

It's interesting she says she works on the "cutting edge of patient rights..." What she means is cutting patients in spite of their rights, of course...

It must be asked, why is someone involved in women's health interested in cutting healthy MALE children?

How and why has cutting the genitals of a healthy MALE child become a "birth option" for women?

Kenin talks about "evidence-based practices." Is there any amount of "evidence" that would convince her to "support" female circumcision as a "birthing option" women from Malaysia, Indonesia, Sudan, etc.?

Seriously, what self-serving crap.

"I am privileged to serve clients of all backgrounds along with the other Jewish women health practitioners in the “Imeinu Doulas and Birth Collective” which I founded in 2008. Just as “Shalom Bayit” a 22-year old Jewish domestic violence organization in the Bay Area is a model of a culturally-based women’s rights initiative who works locally but is internationally known and networked, Imeinu is a younger, established and growing culturally-based women’s health and advocacy model but in the field of childbirth with service providers networked internationally."

End self-promotion plug...

"As a Jewish woman who literally wears my Jewish heritage as I ally with other natural birth professionals, I become a quick target for anti-circumcision rationale, a quick opportunity for intactivists practicing talking points that are developed especially for Jews."

As she should.

Imagine, if you will, a Japanese person "wearing his/her heritage," trying to both advocate for Japanese whaling practices in the name of "cultural diversity," AND trying ally him/herself with animal rights groups.

Now imagine that Japanese person claiming s/he is a "quick target for animal rights rationale, a quick opportunity for animal rights activists practicing talking points that are developed especially for Japanese," and that animal rights groups ought to expel activists who oppose whaling from their movement, claiming they have "scientific research" on their side.

Circumcision advocacy is to "natural birth" as what whaling advocacy is to animal welfare, even environmental welfare, as certain whale species are in danger of becoming extinct.

If you advocate for infant genital mutilation, and wear the reasons why you do it on your sleeve, you should expect people who approach you to address those reasons directly.

This is why, when people advocate for female genital mutilation in the name of Islam, the Quran is brought up.

This is why when people who advocate for male infant circumcision claiming it is a Christian practice, we show them what the New Testament has to say.

To proudly "wear" your rationale for infant genital mutilation, and then complain that others are targeting you directly addressing that rationale, is rather asinine.

"Let’s back up here and understand the difference between the way birth workers usually provide information and how intactivists, whose work is primarily carried out through layers of public relations campaigns, promote their cause."

Yes. Let's.

And while we're at it, let's understand the difference between someone who has a genuine interest in natural child birth and public health, and someone who has religious convictions, and an agenda to defend said religious convictions, whose work is primarily carried out through accusing those who oppose their cause as "anti-" what have you.

The next heading reads:

"Birth Workers are different from Intactivists"

Should read:

"Jewish circumcision advocates are different from Birth Workers"


"When we birth professionals..."

Who's "we?"

Notice the self-inclusion there...

"...are educating new parents about procedures like epidurals, delayed umbilical chord clamping, skin-to-skin, or breastfeeding - all of which can have life-changing impact on the vitality of the child, we do not aggressively assert that parents are hurting their child or putting themselves at risk if they go along with what are the medical trends."

But if you are a natural birth worker, you are expected to talk about the risks of going along with what are medical trends, and the benefits of birth without epidurals, the benefits of delayed umbilical cord clamping, skin-to-skin contact and/or breastfeeding. You wouldn't be a "natural birth worker" otherwise.

Of course here, Kenin would like her readers to assume that circumcision is a "medical trend" necessarily essential to childbirth, comparable to umbilical cord clamping, birth pain management and/or child feeding practices. While umbilical cord clamping, birth pain and how the child will feed are inevitably part of childbirth, circumcision is not.

Cutting off the foreskin of a healthy child is unlike clamping and cutting the umbilical cord, which dries up and falls off on its own. Neither is it like choosing to have skin-to-skin contact or breastfeeding.

The fact is that the trend of opinion on routine male circumcision is overwhelmingly negative in industrialized nations. No respected medical board in the world, not even the AAP, recommends circumcision for infants. All of them, including the AAP in their latest statement, state that there isn't sufficient evidence to warrant this endorsement, much to the chagrin of circumcision advocates.

Is this something we can trust a self-proclaimed "natural birth worker" like Wendy Kenin to inform parents about?

We encourage parents to do their own research and inform themselves about the approaches of their care providers so that they can be aware of risks and options and exercise their rights as patients and human beings."

One should hope so.

One should hope that birth workers, especially those that label themselves "natural birth," would guide parents to "natural birth" practices and not intentionally give them wishy-washy "advice" which has nothing to do with natural birth, and more to do with the birth worker's own personal religious convictions she says she wears so proudly.

One should hope that, concerning circumcision, birth workers, especially "natural birth workers" would encourage parents to "do their own research," so that they would arrive at the same conclusion as the most respected medical organizations on earth, and that is that "the benefits are not great enough to recommend infant circumcision."

"Birth workers partly get our work done by staying up-to-date and providing information, and the impact of natural birth advocacy is seen in the statistics. Examples of the successes of birth workers can be seen in the emerging government-funded doula programs in several countries, bringing more trained labor coaches to provide continuous care to mothers in labor because of the improved health outcomes associated with the presence of a doula. Birth workers’ objections to inducing pre-term labor or pre-term elective cesareans helped focus research on these issues which eventually led to policy changes in hospitals across the United States, so we know our approach works."

By "we," she means to say "birth workers" who share her view. By "our approach" she means to say the approach of genuine birth workers. In essence, she is admitting that people like herself, who advocate for male infant genital mutilation, find the natural birth movement alluring to piggyback because the approach could be effective in brainwashing others that circumcision is a "natural birth" practice.

It must be noted here that it is perfectly fine for birth workers to have "objections" to "medical trends." Just as long as that "medical trend" isn't the wholesale genital mutilation of male, and only male newborns.

"More hospitals are instituting new protocols for delayed umbilical chord clamping, and skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately following delivery - two campaigns that the natural birth movement has been conducting through its attention to evidence-based research in the field and in published studies."

Now don't go hogging all the credit...

"Intactivism is carried out through public relations campaigns that range from reaching expectant parents through tabling at childbirth fairs to pushing for legislation to outlaw circumcision."

Natural birth workers engage in the same tactics. Do they not?

"Books, websites, blogs and social media sites share science, stories, and resources on why circumcision is wrong. These venues commonly devote a portion of their pages to cultural circumcision which inevitably focuses on mostly misunderstood and inaccurately framed summaries on Jewish culture."

Would Kenin be able to provide an example of where intactivists misrepresent Jewish culture?

"And for those of us who have inherited circumcision in our religious practice, there are even some Jewish-run groups who offer guidance to holding alternative ceremonies sans the cut, and support groups. But it doesn’t stop there."

 Kenin makes it sound like a bad thing.

...and here is the kicker:

Special Treatment for Jews

... reads the next heading.


Here it is being suggested that circumcision is exclusively Jewish, and that Jewish parents are the only parents targeted by intactivists.

"Enter a conversation with intactivists and let them know you are a Jew, almost every time the conversation topic will change from the focus of circumcision being medically unnecessary to, “Did you know another baby died in New York from herpes after the mohel sucked…” No matter whether you appear religiously observant, no consideration or interest in whether you circumcised your own son at 8 days, just because they learn you are Jewish intactivists will bombard you with talking points that range from new information about your ancestral tradition, to Jewish celebrities’ involvement with intactivism, to films about Jewish men and their decisions about circumcision for their sons, to names of organizations that can help you. If you’re lucky, the intactivist will remember to compliment your people, 'Well Jews wait till 8 days so the Jewish boys getting circumcised are the lucky ones if you’re going to have it done…'"

And this is surprising because... ?

When a person who advocates for circumcision tells us s/he is Christian, we point him/her to verses in the New Testament.

When a person tells us s/he is Muslim, we highlight the fact that circumcision is not once mentioned in the Qur'an.

When a person is intent on circumcising his/her premie son, we give that person information on circumcision and NICU babies.

If the parents are planning on having a C-section, you make sure they know the dangers of a caesarian and the benefits of natural birth.

If the parents are planning on nixing breastfeeding in lieu of baby formula, you make sure they know what their child would be missing out on if they deny that child his/her breast milk.

Etc. etc.

As a birth worker, Kenin ought to know that parents must be given information that is pertinent to them.

There are risks and complications that apply only to Jews. Gentiles, for example, are not the most likely to have their child circumcised by a mohel, who most likely to use a mogen clamp, and who, by the way, may or may not place his herpes-infested mouth on their children's penises.

In New York, Jewish organizations are fighting for the "right" of mohels to refuse to inform Jewish parents about this now-undeniable fact. Apparently, having to make sure parents know they will place their mouths on their children's bloody penises is a violation of "religious freedom."

Mohels have faced lawsuits for circumcision mishaps, including partial or full ablation of the glans in newborn babies circumcised on the 8th day.

There is important information that particularly Jewish parents of boys ought to become aware of.

Can we trust self-proclaimed "natural birth worker" Wendy Kenin to give Jewish parents this information?

SOMEBODY has got to.

And you can't label those with the courage to do it "anti-Semites."

"Intactivists are blind to the fact that the same arguments they are promoting outside the Jewish community, based on research to advocate their cause, would be the only ones appropriate to share with Jews."

Wendy Kenin is blind to the fact that Jews and non-Jews circumcise for different reasons. She is blind to the fact that Jews have a conviction to defend what they see as a sacred tradition they have been defending since Greco-Roman rule. She is blind to the fact that circumcision practices are different in hospital/secular settings than they are in Jewish settings.

That, or she hopes her readers are.

"Intactivists treat Jews different from other people and within their culture have developed an entirely separate agenda for Jewish ears."

Again. This is because they have to.

But we have separate information for "Jewish ears," as we do for "gentile ears," as well as "Muslim ears," and "Filipino ears," and "Indonesian ears," and "African ears." We want to stop ALL forced genital cutting on healthy, non-consenting minors. In order to reach parents, we must approach parents with information that is relevant to them, as parents want to have their children circumcised for different reasons.

"Even though less than 2% of the American population is Jewish while majority of Americans circumcise, much of the intactivist propaganda - from memes to comic books to films - involves imagery of and alludes to Jewish men. So intactivism is involved with targeting Jews in personal interactions, and representing Jews as child-abusers in the public sphere."

This is simply false.

Intactivists are well aware that the great majority of Americans circumcise, and we have not forgotten them.

In fact, contrary to Kenin's allegations, our main focus is on circumcision as it occurs in hospitals, hence our involvement with natural birth.

The problem here for Kenin, and other Jewish advocates of circumcision who share her plight, is that  circumcision is being addressed at all.

More so than just "leaving Jewish parents alone," "birth workers" like Kenin would rather silence intactivists and not have us sharing information about the risks and complications of circumcision, or information about normal, natural, anatomically correct genitals with any parent, let alone Jewish ones, in the so-called named of "cultural sensitivity" and "parental choice."

"Intactivists have failed in the cultural sensitivity arena."

Gee, I wonder what she thinks of workers in Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. trying to end FGM...

"In the Bay Area and other parts of the world, the Jewish and Muslim communities have come together to defend their religious practice from proposed anti-circumcision legislation..."

And this, I believe, is what "birth workers" like Wendy Kenin are all about.

" I believe we can all thank the intactivists for catalyzing some unity."

 Yes. And ISIS should thank the United States, right?

The next heading in this article reads:

"Birth Workers Need to Realign with Dignified Advocacy Practice"

But let's try and decipher what Kenin means by it.

"Speaking as a birth worker, cultural sensitivity is part of our job. We serve families who speak all languages, in all circumstances, with all sorts of beliefs during this sacred time as they welcome new life into the world. Many of us natural birth doulas serve parents in homes, birth centers, and hospital settings. Regardless of our personal choices and opinions, our purpose is to support our clients whatever their decisions may be while upholding the utmost respect and cooperative relationships with the medical professionals who are responsible for the childbirth procedures and outcomes."

So does Kenin encourage birth workers to practice "cultural sensitivity" when discussing female infant circumcision with their clients? Does she encourage natural birth doulas, as Kenin calls herself, to "support" clients that want to circumcise their baby daughters in their "decision?"

It has got to be asked, as a birth worker, what business does Kenin have in discussing genital surgery in healthy, non-consenting babies, male or female? Aren't cultural or religious practices that parents may want to realize on their children, outside the jurisdiction of birth?

Or does Kenin believe the circumcision of healthy, non-consenting male children (but not female children?) to be a special exception?

But more to the point, what business does a "natural" birth worker have discussing with parents the UN-natural act of cutting off a normal, natural, healthy part of a newborn child's body?

Circumcision is about as "natural" as a c-section or choosing formula in lieu of breast milk; it's about as far away from "natural" as you can get.

"The natural birth movement’s imperative is to handle circumcision with the same professionalism as they do all other debated procedures related to maternity, childbirth, and babies."

Yes, and would "natural birth worker" Wendy Kenin handle female circumcision with the same "professionalism" as she insists male circumcision should be handled?

No, the natural birth movement's imperative is to, as much as possible, encourage parents to opt for natural birth options, something which male infant circumcision is not.

In essence, male infant circumcision, as female infant circumcision, has absolutely nothing to do with child birth, let alone natural birth, which brings us to asking why any birth worker is discussing infant circumcision with parents in the first place.

The answer is that Wendy Kenin is Jewish, and she has an agenda to defend a cherished religious practice in the name of "medicine," and, quite ironically, and paradoxically, in the name of "natural birth."

"We cannot allow the intactivist movement’s impassioned bigotry which condemns and even criminalizes our clients who choose circumcision while also targeting Jews, to run us off course from our successful movement to improve maternity care."

Again, here, Kenin tries to pretend like circumcision advocates like herself, can lay claim to the natural birth movement, and can even make calls to include or expel any given group. She acts like she is speaking on behalf of all "clients" who "choose" to have their sons circumcised, when she admits to "wear[ing] her Jewish heritage."

Kenin tries to defend and protect her own convictions for infant genital mutilation, by clothing them with a thinly veiled interest in medicine, natural child birth, and "research," not to mention making the confusing claims that we are "condemning and criminalizing clients who choose circumcision" and, at the same time "targeting Jews."

Does she decry activists who "condemn and criminalize clients who choose circumcision" for their daughters, and, at the same time, "target Muslims" or other groups where female circumcision is seen as an acceptable parenting decision?


What is happening here is that Kenin and others are trying to hijack the successful natural birth movement and run it off course, not to improve maternity care, but to protect and sanction their own religious convictions in the name of "natural child birth."

Again, the pot is calling the kettle black.

AND speaking of calling the kettle black:

"In fact, natural birth professionals are already anti-racism activists. We have to take into account that horrendous disparities are at play when we support our mothers in labor. For example, a black woman is five times more likely to die during childbirth than other women in the United States, regardless of her economic or other status. Similarly, racism is evident in our professional field as the vast majority of birth and maternity care workers as well as the natural birth events are light-skinned women."

There are so many things wrong with the inclusion of this paragraph in this opinion piece, I don't know where to begin.

What, if anything, does discrimination by skin color have to do with any of what is being talked about in this opinion piece? Are, in fact, a mother's determination to have her male child circumcised, something that shows? Like black pigmentation on a person's skin? And, again, is male infant circumcision exclusively Jewish?

The extreme to which Kenin goes to try and pin intactivists as outright racists gets to be quite ridiculous here. Is her comparison of her false claim that intactivists target Jewish, and only Jewish parents, with the real discrimination black people face in this country even appropriate?

"Reproductive justice advocates are addressing the ways that institutional and societal racism impact childbirth and women’s health as well as the professional field. We shouldn’t have to be adding anti-semitism to the mix, with Jewish birth pros and Jewish moms feeling alienated from our good work."

The ways that institutional and societal racism impact childbirth and women's health as well as the professional field, and what reproductive justice advocates are doing to address them have absolutely no bearing on the intactivist position against the forced genital cutting of healthy, non-consenting minors of any sex, race or creed.

Male infant circumcision is quite clearly not exclusive to Jews and Judaism, and intactivists are opposed to the forced genital cutting of ALL healthy, non-consenting individuals. Intactivists in the natural birth movement approach and give information to ALL parents, not just Jewish ones.

Kenin continues to engage in special pleading, not to mention horrendous, self-serving false accusation.

Is she ready to say that those who oppose female genital mutilation engage in racism against Arabs, Africans, Malaysians, Indonesians etc. are "alienating" mothers and "pros" of those races because they circumcise their daughters?

"If we as childbirth professionals, and the natural maternity organizations we are part of, choose to address circumcision within our scope of information, we can give the issue the same consideration and air-time as we do to the many other physically and spiritually invasive procedures that we witness regularly."

And I ask, yet again, without medical or clinical indication, how can doctors be performing surgery on healthy, non-consenting minors, let alone be "addressing" their parents with any "scope of information?"

How can anyone who calls him/herself a "childbirth professional?"

As a member of a "natural maternity organization," how can a child birth professional be anything else but opposed to the unnatural practice of cutting off a healthy, normal part of a healthy child's penis?

Childbirth professionals who are members of natural birth organizations should give circumcision the same consideration and air-time they do many other procedures alright; the same consideration and air-time they give c-sections, bottle feeding and "cry-it-out" methods.

Sorry, if you tell parents anything other than that cutting off a normal part of a healthy child's penis is not natural, you can't call yourself a "natural birth worker." Every child is born with a foreskin; it is being born without one that is considered a "birth defect." Circumcised children have had a normal, healthy part of their penises cut off. That's not natural.

Concludes the opinion piece:

 "Resources about circumcision options are about as appropriate for birth workers’ clients as resources about vaccination as long as the information is evidence-based, but the intactivist movement’s degrading tactics and banners should have no place in our online or virtual forums, nor at our events."

Except that  circumcision is nothing like a vaccine. Vaccines immunize the body against pathogens that cause disease; when viruses invade the body, it doesn't matter whether a child is circumcised or not.

Vaccines also do not permanently remove a normal, healthy part of the body, nevermind the fact that, unlike male infant circumcision, respected medical organizations actually recommend vaccination for all children.

"Resources about [male infant]circumcision options" are about as appropriate for birth workers' clients as resources about female infant circumcision, child tattooing and scarification options; unless there is medical or clinical indication, simply non-sequitur.

It is advocates of circumcision, especially advocates of circumcision with religious ulterior agendas, not engaging in discourse about the risks of circumcision and the benefits of healthy, natural genitals, but making false, horrendous accusations about others, who should have no place in online or virtual forums, nor at natural childbirth events.

This article is nothing more than self-serving hogwash. Despite admitting herself that she "wears her Jewish heritage," Wendy Kenin tries to pretend as if she had any genuine concern for natural birth and accurate information for mothers.

This is an article written by a Jewish woman for a Jewish audience on a Jewish publication, and it's about nothing more than defending the Jewish practice of circumcision.

Her accusation of intactivists as "anti-Semites" is disingenuous, as if male infant circumcision were an exclusively Jewish practice, and as if intactivists approached Jewish, and only Jewish parents on the matter.

Her agenda is about nothing more than protecting her own religious convictions, which she does very little to hide, and she should stop pretending like it's about anything else, because it's NOT.

Mutilating the genitals of a healthy child is NOT "natural." It is a forced, artificial phenomenon; a glaringly obvious anti-thesis to what natural birth is supposed to be about.

The only reason a child should ever have to undergo surgery is because there is clear, genuine medical indication.

Circumcision seems to be the one exception to the rule, where doctors offer surgery to parents, appealing to their personal religious convictions and/or "cultural sensitivities," falling back on "evidence" of so-called "potential medical benefits" that couldn't convince a single respected medical organization to recommend infant circumcision.

The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails.

The foreskin is not "extra skin." The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, with which all boys are born; it is as intrinsic to male genitalia as labia are to female genitalia.

Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individual is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.

Without medical or clinical indication, doctors have absolutely no business performing surgery in healthy, non-consenting individual, much less be eliciting any kind of "decision" from parents, and "birth workers," particularly those who say to ally themselves with natural childbirth organizations, have absolutely no business discussing "circumcision options" with parents to be.

Indeed, doctors have a duty to refuse to perform needless surgery on healthy, non-consenting minors, and natural birth workers have a duty to advise parents against this unnatural practice. 

Reaping profit from performing non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud. In minors, it is clear abuse.

Just as natural birth workers would advise in favor of vaginal birth and against unnecessary c-section, just as they would advise in favor of breastfeeding and against exclusive formula feeding, just as they would advise in favor of delayed umbilical cord clamping and skin to skin contact, it only follows that they should advise against needless surgery in healthy infants. The discussion of "the benefits of male infant circumcision" has no place in the natural birth movement, and is as out-of-place as the discussion of "the benefits" caesarean birth, formula feeding, cry-it-out, or other non-natural birth practices.

Kenin is a self-proclaimed, self-serving Jewish circumcision advocate who is engaging in a desperate attempt to graft the decidedly unnatural practice male infant genital mutilation onto the natural birth movement. It is clear that she is attempting to clothe her own personal religious convictions with a feigned interest in better childbirth.

Unless she is ready to prostrate herself to be "culturally sensitive" to parents who wish to perform any other practice on their newborns, Kenin engages in special pleading.

"Anti-Semitism is creeping into into the natural childbirth movement," says Kenin, and "intactivists should have no place in our online or virtual forums, nor at our events." She says these things as if intactivists were targeting Jewish parents, and only Jewish parents to speak out against child genital mutilation. She says them like she and other Jewish advocates of circumcision are entitled to righteous indignation, when that position rightfully belongs to us intactivists.

Nay, it is actually the other way around; mutilation and child abuse advocates are creeping into the natural childbirth movement. It is they who should have no place in the natural birth discussion, and their presence at natural birth functions and conferences which ought to be questioned.

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