"I wonder if Chase wants his penis cut? I know I wouldn't!"
On Facebook, those words are transposed over a picture of an infant boy, along with hashtags including #foreskinisnormal.
As we reported in the spring, Boynton Beach mom Heather Hironimus was ordered by the court to have her then-3-year-old child circumcised, in accord with a parenting agreement she'd signed in 2011. However, in the intervening years, Hironimus had read up on the practice and come to learn it was not medically necessary and even risky.
She went to court to fight the father's wish to have the procedure completed and was granted an emergency injunction.
Now, however, she has reportedly lost an appeal, and sympathizers are using social media to make pleas to the judge in the case and to raise awareness to her cause.
A campaign called "#SavingChase Photo & Video Crusade" encourages parents to "take pictures and/or videos of you or your children pronouncing 'Save Chase from Circumcision,' or something along those lines, on camera with the hashtag #SavingChase."
Many have complied:
There are many more.
The irony — of people arguing that boys shouldn't be circumcised until they can consent, yet using their own toddlers to make points in social media campaigns — was not lost on some commenters, who fired back with statements like: "I don't feel comfortable using children for political means. They can't consent much like they can't consent to genital surgery."
The baby's father, Dennis Nebus, had asked the court to order Hironimus to stop talking to the media about their son. The Saving Chase page, run by Hollie Ann Redinger, a sympathizer in Illinois, explains:
Despite living for four years with his whole, completely healthy penis, Chase's father insists that his son must endure a risky surgery to remove a vital part of his body. Chase is aware of what lies ahead, and the once carefree four year old is afraid and does not consent. He says things like, "Please don't let daddy cut my pee pee."
Originally this mother started receiving support from the intactivist community. However, the father's legal team was able to get a gag order put into place and was able to thwart all public funding on her son's behalf. This family has been forced to remain silent and this mother isn't allowed to discuss this with media or post about this publicly and is also not even allowed to ask for legal fund donations, all of that is clearly a restriction on her freedom of speech and inhibits her due process.
The page claims that a "letter received by the family on Thursday, November 6, stated that Chase's appeal was denied."
Hironimus' lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment yesterday.
The campaign asks that people sign a petition to Judge Jeffrey Gillen asking him to dismiss the case and that sympathizers donate money so Hironimus can continue her legal battle. As of yesterday, it has raised more than $1,200.
A call to Nebus' attorney, Catherine Eaton, went to voicemail late yesterday.
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