Court Orders Mom to Circumcise Her 3-Year-Old Son

Court Orders Mom to Circumcise Her 3-Year-Old Son
Photo by Tabatha Mudra
Just a little off the top.

A local mother is fighting an order from the court that her 3-year-old son be circumcised.

Heather Hironimus of Boynton Beach and Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton had a child together in 2010 and entered into a parenting agreement more than a year later. The agreement clearly stated the father would be responsible for scheduling and paying for the boy's circumcision.

But now that the boy is 3 and has not yet been circumcised, the mother objects, because, as court documents explain it, the procedure is "not medically necessary and she did not want to have the parties' son undergo requisite general anesthesia for fear of death."

Just a little off the top.
Photo by Tabatha Mudra
Just a little off the top.

On May 9, Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Gillen ruled that there's no reason the parties shouldn't abide by the parenting agreement and that the father can schedule the procedure.

Hironimus objected. "Putting aside what they agreed to, if you're going to enforce this contract, you have to look at what is the best interest of the child," says her attorney, Taryn Sinatra. "The best interest of the child should always trump" any such agreement.

Sinatra says a pediatric urologist testified at a hearing and was asked what he would do in such a situation, and the urologist said he would not circumcise the boy at this age. However, the judge's order claims the urologist also testified that "penile cancer occurs only in uncircumcised males" — which is untrue — and "uncircumcised males have a higher risk of HIV infection than circumcised males" (which is debatable because this statistic comes from three studies, conducted on adult males in Africa, that have been challenged as flawed in scientific journals).

Hironimus' case has drawn support from anti-circumcision activists around the country who argue that the foreskin is a useful part of the human body and that men should decide for themselves whether to circumcise when they are old enough to research it and consent.

There is evidence that circumcision was performed by ancient Egyptians, and Jews believe that Abraham made a covenant with God to receive long life and fertility in exchange for agreeing that all of his male descendents be cut. In the 1800s, circumcision grew popular as a supposed cure for masturbation, and the procedure was popularized in America as hospital births became the norm after World War II.

But circumcision has become controversial in recent years as activists' arguments gained steam, and rates have been steadily declining in the past decade. In Europe, circumcision is considered barbaric and generally not practiced.

Last week, Hironimus' lawyer filed an emergency motion with the Fourth District Court of Appeals to obtain a stay on Gillen's order. The stay was granted, and the next step will be for the parties to file briefs with the appeals court, which will then hand down a decision.

Hironimus, a stay-at-home mom, has started a page at GoFundMe.com to raise funds for legal costs. She wrote that the decision about his body should not be "left to anyone other than [her son], who is 3 1/2 and fully aware" and that it should not be up to "the 'system' to make these decisions.

"I was always led to believe that being circumcised was the right decision for my son and that it was the 'normal' thing to do. [My son] and I were lucky enough that I had friends step in and educate me and allow me to see the bigger picture. When we know better, we do better."

Nebus, the boy's father, hung up when reached by phone for comment.

The group Intact Florida is planning a protest.

 
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10 comments
kme_barnwell
kme_barnwell

***Breaking News: UPDATE on The Fight to Save Chase***

On November 6, a Florida court decided that a healthy four year old boy will undergo an unnecessary, risky surgery at the insistence of his father. The boy's name is Chase and his mother is fighting a battle to save him.

According to court records, in December 2011, Heather Hironimus signed a parenting agreement which gave Chase's father, Dennis Nebus, permission to have their (then) baby boy circumcised. Four years later, Chase is still intact and happy.

Heather Hironimus realized over the years that removing Chase's foreskin was unnecessary, and as he became older the surgery, and anesthesia, were fraught with risks. She argues that the surgery is purely cosmetic and the parenting plan no longer pertains to a now older, and more aware, boy. Pediatric urologist, Charles Flack, told the judge that circumcision is not medically necessary.

Human rights advocates believe Chase's physical and mental health are at risk. He is aware of his body and does not want to have surgery on his genitals. Forcing a child to undergo cosmetic surgery is a violation of basic human rights and medical ethics. This is an unprecedented case worthy of media attention.

Donations for further legal measures can be made at: http://www.youcaring.com/other/saving-chase/259991

Www.youtube.com/savingchase4

Www.fb.com/chasesguardians

https://www.facebook.com/events/357342571110808/

ZimbaZumba
ZimbaZumba

The pictures shown with this article are appalling.

milliamsjohn
milliamsjohn

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adam0cornish
adam0cornish

I can't believe that anyone would publish an article, with a picture showing such an objectionable representation of the male genitalia, and a jokey caption of "Just a little off the top."  Can you imagine an article on female circumcision with a joke picture and caption?


To answer gmharryman's question, the judge is circumcised, and because of that, sees nothing wrong with deciding that the boy must be circumcised.  After all, that is what's normal, isn't it?


Sick stuff!


lawrencenewman is not exaggerating, he is telling the truth.

Hugh_Intactive
Hugh_Intactive

The judge also ruled that the mother may not let the boy know that she disapproves of the circumcision. Doesn't that violate the First Amendment, as well as being an unreasonable intrusion into the bond between mother and child? How long is such a gag-order to last? May she tell him on his 18th birthday, after he's spent 15 years hating her for what he imagines to be her complicity? Or never? It just underlines how unreasonable the circumcision itself is, that it needs such a cruel and unusual defence.

glharryman
glharryman

How can an American judge sitting in an American court sentence a American child, male or female, to sexual mutilation that will amputate the most neurologically sensitive part of that child's anatomy and sub normalize him or her for life?  That's insane!  And that judge should be defrocked.

lawrencenewman110379
lawrencenewman110379

I was circumcised at 14 without my informed consent.  Having experienced both, I can say with 100% certainty that it destroys sexual pleasure.  Men who are circumcised and who defend it display the same behaviour as female victims of mutilation, as they were cut when they were babies or kids and do not know any better.  The truth is, all sexual pleasure resides in the foreskin and frenulum.  The male glans is not sexually sensitive apart from a scattering of light touch receptors around the corona. Apart from that it's a protopathic sensor, i.e. pressure, temperature and pain.  


Cutting off a man's ridged band, frenular delta and frenulum removes more sex nerves than cutting off a woman's glans clitoris.  You won't hear this fact from the media though, because we live in a post-feminist, gynecocentric age where only female problems are important, even if they have to be magnified while male problems are trivialised.  


Circumcision is a euphemism for genital mutilation and has no proven medical benefits.  It is a human rights abuse to do this to anyone without their informed consent.  The trouble is, doctors make lots of money from this billion dollar industry and will do anything to keep the practice alive, even if that means selling methodologically flawed trials as fact, e.g. the HIV trials in Africa.  


FGM is a human rights abuse, therefore MGM is a human rights abuse.  This is not a debating matter, it is a matter of fact. 

ml66uk
ml66uk

It's bad enough that boys get circumcised anyway, but doing it to a three-year-old against the mother's wishes is just insane.  His body, his decision.


It's not like it can't wait.  The USA (at 55% and dropping) and Israel are the only two countries in the world where more than half of baby boys are circumcised.  Other countries circumcise, but not till anywhere from the age of seven to adolescence.  Only about 10% of the world's circumcised men were circumcised as babies.

lawrencenewman110379
lawrencenewman110379

@adam0cornish A brilliant point.  The photo signifies how male sexuality and injustices toward males are trivialised.  I can't get over how the world is even debating all this.  It's genital mutilation and kills sexual pleasure.  



 
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