In a march taking place in Vancouver this weekend, people who believe forced circumcision on both male and female newborns is wrong -- known as 'intactivists' -- will be making their points loud and clear.
The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CFAP), "Canada's feistiest pro-foreskin advocacy group," has organized various demonstrations and rallies around Vancouver on August 4 and 5, spreading the message of the group's anti-circumcision stance.
Along with a focus on expounding the alleged sexual pleasures of foreskin, the group's mandate includes lobbying the Canadian government to change the Criminal Code to add "one body part, the prepuce (foreskin), to the list of specified sexual organs that can not be mutilated or removed before the age of 18."
The group's plan this weekend includes a protest at Dr. Neil Pollock's clinic, owned by a doctor specializing in circumcision. As noted on the clinic's website, "When parents are making a decision about circumcision they should be advised of the present state of medical knowledge about its benefits and harms. Their decision may ultimately be based on personal, religious or cultural factors."
Anti-circumcision groups have been making the news as of late, with a court in Germany recently ruling that a "child's right to physical integrity trumps freedom of religion and parents'," sparking outrage amongst both Jewish and Muslim groups, for whom circumcision is a religious practice.
But it's just not tradition that's kept the practice alive -- studies in countries stricken by AIDS have shown an almost 60 per cent decrease in infection when circumcision is carried out in sanitary conditions, and the removal of foreskin -- a potential hiding place for bacteria -- could also reduce the risk of transmitting herpes. Another study found a lowered rate of prostate cancer in men who had been circumcised before they first had sex.
In Canada, previous anti-circumcision demonstrations have included CFAP's demonstrations in Victoria, B.C. and an intactivist contingent marching in Toronto's Pride Parade.