Abortion Protests Absent at Ob.Gyn. Meeting

While covering the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, I noticed something similar to what I first reported in a blog post from ACOG’s 2010 meeting, when room numbers had been left out of the printed program intentionally – for security reasons – for sessions on abortion and even contraception.

There’s something very different about this year’s ACOG meeting, though. Anti-abortion and anti-contraception protesters who previously were camped outside with signs vilifying obstetricians for being “child haters” are nowhere to be seen this year. Is that a sign of the times? Or a difference between having the meeting in protest-crazy San Francisco in 2010 and this year’s meeting in more conservative San Diego?

Protesters outside ACOG’s annual meeting. (Sherry Boschert/IMNG Medical Media)

Don’t get me wrong. There still are protesters here calling obstetricians “sex criminals.” With anti-abortionists and anti-contraceptionists gone, all that were left were the anti-circumcisionists handing out cards with links to Web sites such as Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC).

That means there’s still a strong police presence at the doors to the convention center and workers diligently checking to see that people who come into the center are wearing registration badges.  I haven’t heard of any cases of anti-circumcisionists murdering ob.gyns. as some abortion opponents have done, though.

For the record, ACOG’s policy on circumcision is essentially the same as that of the American Academy of Pediatrics. They do not recommend routine circumcision for newborn males, but advise physicians to weigh the potential risks, benefits, and costs of circumcision with the newborn’s parents.

And looking at the ACOG program, I didn’t see “Room TBD” next to the two presentations on circumcision, one of which I’ll be reporting soon: “A Cost-effective Analysis of Male Circumcision for the Prevention of HIV in the United States.” The findings may surprise you. Stay tuned.

–Sherry Boschert



Filed under Family Medicine, IMNG, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Abortion Protests Absent at Ob.Gyn. Meeting

  1. “… sessions on circumcision … there weren’t any.” That’s right, the ACOG won’t discuss circumcision because it’s not within Obstetrics (childbirth) or Gynecology (women’s health). Yet who comprise the highest proportion of baby circumcisors? ObGyns!

    And you make the ACOG’s position on circumcision, like the AAP’s, seem neutral, yet the one person most directly concerned in the non-urgent removal of normal, healthy, functional, erogenous, non-renewing genital tissue (for reasons that do not justify recommending it) – its owner, is not consulted.

  2. ACOG denied Intact America permission to exhibit at their convention in Washington, DC, last May. Their reasoning? IA’s “product and services” (advocacy concerning the harm and the ethics of neonatal circumcision) was “beyond the scope of the practice of obstetrics and gynecology.”

  3. Actually, they had two sessions on circumcision:

    A Cost-Effective Analysis of Male Circumcision for the Prevention of
    HIV in the United States
    Monday, May 7 – 3:10 PM – 3:20 PM
    Room 23BC, San Diego Convention Center

    Early Male Infant Circumcision Using Mogen or Gomco Circumcision Clamps
    Tuesday, May 8 – 3:21 PM – 3:35 PM

  4. Roland Day

    It is really incredible that ACOG is still teaching the use of the Mogen circumcision device, since the Mogen company has gone out of business due to the lawsuits.

  5. The Mogen clamp can cut off the head of the penis. It is a dangerous device. There won’t be anymore of them since they are no longer manufactured.

    This is a very clear example of ACOG placing the income of its members ahead of the well-being of child-patients.

  6. Dan Seely

    Instead of the police protecting money grubbing OB-GYN’s conducting cost-benefits analyses to remove the most errogenous tissue from non-consenting infants, they should be protecting those who can’t fend for themselves. Their duplicity in claiming that male genital mutilation is not within their purview, when they clearly perform the majority of them and discuss them in a clandestine manner clearly shows how despicable they are and who is receiving the lion’s share of these “benefits”.

  7. Sherry Boschert

    Reply to Naji Wench — Good point. I was referring to session headings, which is where room numbers were listed. Both of the presentations that you cite were listed in the program as one of multiple topics under more general sessions. The “Cost-effective Analysis…” was in the session titled, “Papers on Current Clinical and Basic Investigation.” The “Early Male Infant Circumcision…” was one of multiple entries in the “Film Festival.” I have updated the last paragraph of the blog post to reflect this. Thanks.

  8. As you’re already aware, circumcision does NOT prevent HIV. The United States has the highest rate of RIC or every industrialized nation. It also has the highest rate of HIV.

    And are you REALLY concerned about BABIES contracting HIV other than In-utero? If so many BABIES are contracting HIV EXTRA-Utero that’s a case for CPS NOT Dr’s.

  9. Even if it DID prevent HIV that’s NOT a reason to remove a healthy, functioning organ & you know it.

    Boys deserve the EXACT same protection as girls. There have been “studies” done by people that make the SAME claims about FGM that people make about MGM. (Prevents STD’s, UTI’s & so on)

    Considering you can make $700.00 PLUS PER Circumcisoon & it takes you less than 10 minutes to do it you have a VESTED INTEREST in keeping this BARBARIC PRACTICE legal.

    STEP AWAY from the Penis. Dr’s are ALREADY getting sued by males that were circumcised as babies & these (now) men are WINNING. I hope you’re the NEXT on to get sued.

    Technically you should be in JAIL for CHILD abuse.

  10. It seems so strange to me that medical professionals would be doing any advocating for unnecessary removal of any parts of normal healthy genitals on infants. It doesn’t seem to fit with “do no harm”. If a baby is not at risk of contracting HIV though sex…..how in good conscience would any doctor be in favor of cutting part of his body off for “prevention”? Why can’t a male make a decision on whether cutting his genitals for disease prevention is what he wants, when he might be at risk???

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