Anti-circumcision protesters occupy downtown street corners
People gathered along the city street protesting circumcision. But what do the facts reveal? And is the act as popular these days?
Thursday, October 30th 2014, 5:28 pm EDT
Thursday, October 30th 2014, 5:50 pm EDT
Some protesters in downtown Chattanooga were getting a lot of looks on Thursday. Group members, who are against circumcision, occupied street corners with their message.
Some people stopped to look, others were wanting to learn more. Megan Swartz had to take pictures.
"I was walking to work, and I saw these men on the corner with all white on... and, um... red on their crotch," Swartz said.
"Basically, what we're doing is wearing the stain that we carry around. We're putting the stain on top of our clothes to make it a public issue," said Brother K, co-founder of the group called Blood Stained Men and Their Friends.
The group protests circumcision across the country. Their 12-day tour of the southeast kicked off in Chattanooga on Thursday. Brother K has been protesting the issue for over 30 years.
"Circumcision takes away a man's freedom," he said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has somewhat shifted its stance in recent years. According to the organization, research suggests the health benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. But there's "not enough scientific evidence to routinely recommend it."
"My son is circumcised, and it's my greatest regret as a parent," said protester Amanda Tyson of Chattanooga. She is a mom of two.
she got involved in the issue just months after her son was born.
"You take away his choice that he would have if he were to become a man," she said.
The CDC reports the procedure has slightly decreased in popularity in recent decades, from 64% in 1979 to 58% in 2010. However, doctors say
it's a decision that's ultimately best for parents to decide.
"I have nothing against it one way or the other," Swartz said, "but I think it's an interesting thing to be [doing that] on the corner of 4th and Market St.">
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents discuss the issue with a doctor first, and take into account medical, religious and cultural traditions.