Crying and shackled, mother consents to son’s circumcision after being jailed

Reuters/Louafi Larbi
Heather Hironimus, a mom from Florida, agreed to her son’s circumcision after spending a week in custody, putting an end to a yearlong battle she led against the 4-year-old’s father, who insisted the procedure be performed.

Hironimus on Friday signed the paperwork allowing the circumcision in a courtroom, crying and clasping her shackled hands, according to the Associated Press account.

The woman had been under arrest since May 14, facing criminal charges for interfering with the child’s custody. She and her child went missing in February after a circuit and appeals court sided with the father in the circumcision dispute. Hironimus and the boy’s father, Dennis Nebus, initially agreed to the procedure in an agreement filed in court. The mother later changed her mind.

Hironimus lost the case in May 2014, when the court found that the boy should be circumcised, according to the Orlando Sun Sentinel.

READ MORE: US mom faces prison sentence for blocking son’s circumcision

The judge ordered Hironimus to bring her son to court, where she was to be compelled to agree to a scheduled circumcision procedure, but she never did. Instead, the woman hid in a domestic violence shelter to avoid being arrested.

In April, Heronimus filed a lawsuit against both Nebus and the judge, saying there was no medical reason for her son’s circumcision. Moreover, the child was afraid and didn’t want to undergo the procedure, she said, adding that it could result in negative physical and psychological effects.

Hironimus has only been released from a civil harassment restraining order and still faces a criminal charge, meaning the remaining length of her jail-stay remains unclear.

The judge granted the father the temporary right to make sole-decisions in matters regarding his son's health, including the circumcision procedure. He also gave him the freedom to take his son out of state without his mother’s permission.

Over the year, Hironimus has become a uniting figure for anti-circumcision advocates, a movement that is gaining momentum in the US.