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Protesters at Doctor's Office Hope to Stop 4-Year-Old From Being Circumcised

A 4-year-old boy named Chase has been at the center of a long court battle between his parents over whether he should be circumcised. The courts have now ruled that the circumcision be allowed to proceed, and the boy is reportedly due to be circumcised tomorrow at South Florida Pediatric Surgeons in Plantation.

Protesters, who believe that childhood circumcision is wrong because it's an invasive cosmetic surgery performed before a boy is old enough to consent, will be holding signs outside the doctor's office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. today.

Organizer Jen Cote VanWie said they hoped to persuade Dr. Subhash Puranik not to perform the procedure. She said this tactic worked a few months ago, when a doctor in Boynton Beach had been scheduled to circumcise Chase but backed out after a protest at his office.

"We hope to convince this doctor to change his mind," she said. Even though the court had ruled that the boy's father be allowed to schedule the circumcision, the court "can't force [Puranik] into doing the surgery."

See also: Florida Mom Fights Court Order to Circumcise Her 3-Year-Old Son

The saga began in 2010, when Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton and Heather Hironimus of Boynton Beach had a child together. They did not remain a couple but entered into a parenting agreement more than a year later. The agreement clearly stated that the father would be responsible for scheduling and paying for the boy's circumcision.

But after the mother learned more about what the procedure entailed, she objected because, court papers said, it was "not medically necessary and she did not want to have the parties' son undergo requisite general anesthesia for fear of death."

Both a local judge and then an appeals court eventually sided with Nebus. A judge ordered that Hironimus stop speaking to the media, but anticircumcision activists -- sometimes called "intactivists" -- largely took up the cause on her behalf, organizing protests and launching a website,, and a group, Chase's Guardians.

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Deirdra Funcheon

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