A Florida mother has agreed for her son to be circumcised after spending a week in jail. If she had not agreed to have her 4-and-a-half-year-old son circumcised, she could have been imprisoned indefinitely. She has been in Broward County Jail on charges of interference with custody. Therefore, she tearfully agreed to the procedure. The mother’s consent should end a legal battle with the child’s father, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Heather Hironimus, 31, had been in custody since May 14. Before then, she had been in hiding for several months with her son, allegedly to avoid having him circumcised. She has been fighting a legal battle for more than a year with the boy’s father, Dennis Nebus, over circumcising the child.
Even before their son was born, the couple had a disagreement about circumcision. They agreed on circumcision in 2012 when they split up, but Hironimus changed her mind. She lost a legal battle with Nebus in May, 2014 when a Palm Beach County judge ruled that the boy should be circumcised.
In March, 2015, the judge ordered Hironimus to bring the boy in to schedule the circumcision procedure, but she never showed up in court. A warrant was issued for her arrest, but Hironimus avoided being arrested by living in a domestic violence shelter.
Hironimus filed a federal suit against both Nebus and the judge last month, claiming that her son did not have a medical condition, and he didn’t need to be circumcised. Besides, he did not want to be circumcised and was afraid of the procedure.
“Heather Hironimus cried as she prepared to sign the consent form for her son to be circumcised as she appears before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen on May 22.”
Reuters reported that the boy has been with his father since Hironimus was arrested. A lawyer for the child’s father said a date for the circumcision had not been scheduled. Nebus may have to take the boy out of state to get the procedure because he has received death threats from anti-circumcision activists.
Circumcision opponents are firing back at the order for Hironimus to consent to the circumcision against her will. Many supporters had raised money for the mother’s legal defense. They say it violates the boy’s constitutional rights. Georganne Chapman, executive director of Intact America, made a statement about Heather Hironimus having to sign the consent to have her son circumcised.
“The consent signed by Heather Hironimus this morning is no more valid than that of a bound prisoner with the executioner’s knife to his throat who signs a form allowing his organs to be donated after his death.”
Circumcision is a medical procedure in which skin covering the tip of the penis is removed. While the procedure is part of some religious customs, religion did not motivate the parental dispute.
[Image via The Palm Beach Post]