First off, let me say that I am a mother. Above all the things I advocate for (breastfeeding, natural birth and leaving boys intact) I remain a mother, first and foremost.
Which Is why I am so heartbroken at the negative comments from some people on Jill Haskin's blog and on message boards after her son passed away today from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome after having circumcision complications.
Don't get me wrong, initially when I saw Jill's blog come up on my facebook newsfeed after being posted by several other "intactivists" who were all claiming that this death was related to the circumcision, I read her blog post called "I almost killed my baby" and I
Even though I didn't post any comments to her blog I feel horrified and ashamed to be associated with anyone that could spread so much hate when they claim to be devoted to preventing harm. This way of "advocating" does not help our cause, it harms it in irreversible ways because when you are hateful, you are closing minds that might have listened to you had you had the decency to be compassionate.
I had copied the the ridiculously insensitive comments into my blog, but have removed them recently in an effort to remove all negativity from this post.
In honor of baby Joshua and his mother Jill Haskin I have set up a donation fund for the Haskin family for those of us that want to redirect this into something positive for the family.
Jill, I deeply apologize on behalf of all the intactivists I know who would never say such hurtful things to you or your family. May your son rest in peace and your love for him carry you through this difficult time.
If you would like to leave a comment, this blog is a place for us to lift Jill and her family up in whatever way we can. This is NOT the time or place to come to "inform or "educate" about circumcision. We will do more harm than good and we risk loosing even more credibility as advocates. I am just asking for love and compassion, people! I will not hesitate to delete comments I find offensive to Jill's family.
UPDATE 10/8/2010: I am amazed at our readers support! Your comments have shown me what true compassion is about by reaching out to lend a hand, even when our beliefs differ! I have received some negative feedback from a few of you who think that I am drawing more attention to the negative things that were said, and that blanket blame doesn't need to be placed on the whole intactivist community. Some of you think that I am trying to "silence" you. This couldn't be further from the truth. I want the truth out. I want people to know that more infant deaths are related to circumcision than chocking, I DO want parents to question what they are told if their baby dies following this procedure. However, I don not agree with attacking grieving mothers to make a point. Believe me, we have other work we can do! Share your message with those who are expecting and write letters to the AAP Task Force and to your elected officials asking to end routine circumcision.
You may even feel that the mean people should just be ignored, not be made the focus with this blog post. While I agree that only a handful of people were spreading these hateful comments, I felt that It was important to provide a place for us to show Jill and her family the other side of our hearts and a solace for us to apologize, if we felt the need. Many of you have probably thought "Compassionate Intactivism" is a oxymoron, we are compassionate people by nature. We love and want to protect these little boys from unnecessary surgery. This is true. We are compassionate towards little boys. However, sometimes that is all we see... In order to reach the parents, I believe we must get our message out with polite arguments and facts rather than by being confrontational.
Thank you again for your support!!! We raised $579.00 for the family! I have sent the money (along with the link to read your comments) to the family and am closing this donation fund, for those of you who would like to donate, you can directly at Jill's blog.
Here is a list of all those who have donated through 10/16:
P.U.S.H. doula services
My Postpartum Voice
Birthing Babes Childbirth & Parenting Education Studio
Michael C Robertson
Jeffery & Sami Havard
Lauren Jenkins (On behalf of the Whole Network)
Here is the screen shot of the confirmation from paypal that I have sent the funds:
(You'll have to click to enlarge so you can view)