In Feb., a Florida mother Heather Hironimus went on the run with her son, staying in a domestic violence shelter. In May, Heather is arrested for “contempt of court” for refusing to circumcise her 4 year old son. Heather is currently being held in the Broward County Jail.
Heather says that she is “scared to death” of the procedure and went on the run to protect her child from a forced circumcision. Heather’s fears are certainly justified. In 2014, the lower court placed a gag order on Heather to stop her from speaking about the case to the media or publicly raising funds for an appeal. Heather was court ordered not to tell her son that she is against the procedure in any way. The court order also states the child will be in care of the father for two days prior to, and twelve days following, the circumcision. Meaning Heather will not be able to see her son before the circumcision, and will not be able to assist and comfort him during recovery.
I just have to say it… if you truly love their child, and want their best interest, then why would you deny that child the comfort of having a parent with them after a serious surgery? Nurturing does impact a child’s ability to mentally and physically recover. Heather is the primary caregiver, to force a separation after such a big moment in the child’s life is cruel.
Father Dennis Nebus, who shares custody, began to fight for circumcision in December 2013 because the child, age 3, was urinating on his leg.
I just have to say it… I am a mother of two boys, it is normal for boys who are potty training to have accidents. I do not understand how a child urinating on his leg at age 3 means the child must be circumcised?!?
The boy was examined by Florida pediatric urologist Charles Flack, M.D. who provided testimony to the court, stating the boy was healthy, had normal genitals and there was no reason to perform a circumcision.
Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen, who sits in the 15th judicial district in Palm Beach County said Heather is “reprehensible” because refusing to circumcise her son makes him “an object of curiosity and worse”.
In a bizarre twist, Judge Gillen never assigned a Guardian ad Litem or ward to advocate for the child, and would not allow testimony from a child mental health professional. The child apparently is aware that he could be circumcised, and is stating he does not want the procedure done, and is expressing fear.
Judge Gillen is entitled to his opinion, but where is the law supporting that? Many people are not circumcised and do lead normal lives. Second, in my state, circumcision is considered a “cosmetic procedure” and those on state medical assistance do not receive coverage for circumcision. Circumcision costs between $200-$700 which has to be totally paid out of pocket, if you are a low income family, that may be impossible to afford.
Federal Judge Kenneth Marra has scheduled a hearing on all the motions for Monday, May 18th, at 1 pm. The group Chase’s Guardians will gather outside of the court house at noon to show our support for Heather and her son and to urge Judge Marra to protect the child from a forced medically unnecessary circumcision. https://www.facebook.com/events/1604629103155556/
While Heather is in jail, the child is being cared for by father, Dennis Nebus.
Chase’s Guardians, Support for Heather Hironimus: https://www.facebook.com/ChasesGuardians
“Circumcision Case Judge Puts Gag Order on Mother Fighting For Son Not to Be Circumcised” by Chris Joseph (Borward Palm Beach New Times), 11/19/2014: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/circumcision-case-judge-puts-gag-order-on-mother-fighting-for-son-not-to-be-circumcised-6448914
“Mom who went on the run because she was ‘scared to death’ of having son circumcised is arrested for contempt of court” by Lydia Willgress (Mail Online and Associated Press), 5/15/2015: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3082655/Fla-woman-fled-avoid-sons-circumcision-arrested.html
Save Chase from Court Ordered Circumcision: Information, Updates and E-Mail Petition: http://savingchase.org/
“Upheld: Healthy Florida Boy to be Circumcised Against Mom’s Wishes” by Rebecca Wald (Beyond the Bris: News and Views on Jewish Circumcision), 11/18/2014: http://www.beyondthebris.com/2014/11/upheld-healthy-florida-boy-to-be.html