Two bills were introduced into the New Hampshire legislature for the 2024 session to increase protection of children’s bodily autonomy from circumcision by reducing the financial incentives and reforming the informed consent process. 

In a YouTube video posted by Intaction titled “How Bodily Autonomy is Personal Freedom for New Hampshire,” founder Anthony Losquadro enthusiastically explains the bills, which were introduced by Republican Representative Emily Phillips (Rockingham District 7). 

At the 5:50 minute mark, Losquadro acknowledges GALDEF’s contributions in re-writing portions of the draft legislation and providing valuable citations. He also encourages viewers to support GALDEF’s work and provided a link to our website in the video description.

House Bill1683 removes financial incentives for hospitals to submit Medicaid reimbursements for routine, cosmetic infant circumcision.  If passed, NH would join 17 other U.S. states that prohibit Medicaid programs from reimbursing for this medically unnecessary surgery. 

House Bill1706 establishes concrete guidelines for strengthening the informed consent process with regard to parental decision-making. The bill is grounded in the Circumcision Transparency Act proposed in nearby New York State. The legislative intent is clarified in the bill’s preamble, which notes, among many other things, that newborn circumcision is medically unnecessary, is a painful, irreversible surgery with lifelong consequences, some parents expressed regret over their decision to circumcise their son because they did not have complete or accurate information, and that many circumcision sufferers (a term coined by Tim Hammond) express later distress and objections to having been subjected to circumcision when they could not consent.

Many remedies to the inferior newborn circumcision consent process are spelled out in HB1706, including: no health care provider shall solicit a parent for circumcision of their child or cite non-medical reasons for circumcision (e.g., “looking like Daddy”), requirement of dual consent when there are two parents, makes it impermissible to cite a “diagnosis” of phimosis (since a non-retractile foreskin is a normal developmental condition in almost all newborns and many children), and parents must specifically opt in (rathter than current default of making them opt out) from allowing their son’s severed foreskin to be donated to those hospitals that sell the child’s purloined foreskin tissue to biotechnology companies without disclosing this to parents (see The Foreskin Industry). The bill also requires hospital to provide parents with accurate guidance for care of the intact foreskin developed in collaboration with Intaction.

The bill also states that the consent form must state in bold 12 point type that newborn circumcision is a medically unnecessary cosmetic procedure. Consent forms must also state that the foreskin constitutes up to 50% of the penile shaft skin, which in the adult, comprises about 15 square inches of sexually sensitive tissue that protects the head of the penis, and that the child may want to grow up with an intact penis and may resent the parents’ circumcision decision. The consent form must also acknowledge that parents have been shown the circumcision restraint board and the device used to excise the child’s foreskin.

According to Intaction, “New Hampshire is known as the ‘Live Free or Die State,’ and if these bills pass many more children will be able to live free, – with healthy, natural, & normal intact bodies.”

Collaboration and background work, such as that provided by GALDEF to Intaction, is a necessary part of building a strong genital autonomy movement. Your generous donation today will help GALDEF to continue this valuable aspect of its advocacy work.


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