Health

Mother of Boy in Circumcision Case Has Vanished With Child; Judge Orders Her to Return

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The case revolves around the separated couple's fight over whether the child can be circumcised. The couple had previously agreed that Nebus would pay for and schedule the child's circumcision. But Hironimus has been arguing that there is no medical reason for her son to be circumcised and that the procedure could harm or even kill the boy. The practice is even more scrutinized now that the boy is no longer a newborn.

However, Nebus testified that three doctors who were supposed to perform the procedure on the boy had removed themselves from doing so after apparently receiving what he called "threatening letters" from activists calling for the father not to have the boy circumcised. Nebus claimed that he too had received death threats.

During his testimony, Nebus detailed an incident where Hironimus burst into a doctor's office where the child was being examined in order to schedule a procedure. Nebus said she "threw a tantrum" and yelled at the medical staff that she had not given consent for the boy to be examined by the doctor. Nebus said their son, who had witnessed the outburst, was "visibly shaken." He also claimed that the boy had expressed fear over getting a circumcision. Nebus hinted on the stand that this was due to Hironimus' using "scare tactics" on the boy, though he didn't make clear what those tactics might've been.

Nebus also testified that the mother had been allowing the anticircumcision activists to use the child's likeness and name on their websites, as well as on posters and picket signs during protests outside the courthouse as well as at CityPlace.

Gillen said he expected that, although Hironimus was ordered not to allow the boy's name and likeness to be taken from her personal Facebook and used on these websites, she did anyway. "I expected this to happen," Gillen said during his ruling, "that the child's likeness would be used, making him an object of curiosity on the Internet."

See also: Circumcision Case Judge Puts Gag Order on Mother Fighting for Son Not to Be Circumcised

More pressing, however, is that Hironimus and the child have gone missing since the last scheduled doctor's visit on February 19. Nebus testified that he visited the home of the mother to take the boy for his prearranged visiting time and found no one home. The car was also gone, and when he tried calling Hironiumus, he said the phone was turned off.

Hironimus was not present during Friday's hearing, and the judge ordered that she and the child report to court on Tuesday by 2 p.m. or face the consequences.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph