A Florida mother who’s in hiding to prevent her son from being forcibly circumcised by the child’s father has now filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the boy’s constitutional rights are being violated.
The action by Heather Hironimus was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, Florida, as she claims there is no medical justification to remove the foreskin from her boy, identified as C.R.N.H.
“(The) application of Florida law to impose unnecessary, elective, cosmetic circumcision upon C.R.N.H. at the age of 4 1/2 years old for no religious reason violates (the boy’s) fundamental right to privacy and bodily integrity secured by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States,” her attorney Thomas Hunker wrote.
The suit also says “forcing circumcision on C.R.N.H. constitutes assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, and/or child abuse under Florida law.”
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According to South Florida’s New Times, a long list of alleged reasons for the procedure not to be performed are included in the suit:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bioethics Committee has declared that a minor’s input into surgical decisions must be heard and considered.
- In contrast to the rare disease of penile cancer that occurs mostly in the elderly, breast cancer is far more common, but the law does not permit forcible removal of a female child’s healthy breasts in order to prevent the possibility that the child may one day develop breast cancer.
- Penile cancer occurs in circumcised and uncircumcised males alike.
- Circumcision does not significantly reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases can be adequately prevented by less invasive methods such as personal hygiene and safe sex.
As WND reported in March, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen issued an arrest warrant for the mother for failing to appear before the court, and she has reportedly been living at a domestic-violence shelter.
Neither of the boy’s parents is Jewish, but the father testified last year he thinks circumcision is “just the normal thing to do.”
He pushed for the procedure in 2013 after noticing his son was urinating on his leg. He claims the child has a condition called phimosis, which prevents retraction of the foreskin, but the mother has said there is no such diagnosis.
In an emergency motion last month, Hunker wrote the boy “is aware of what is happening and is terrified by the procedure. He is also angry that the procedure is being forced upon him.”
The boy was born in 2010, and three months later, his father, Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton, Florida, sued to establish his parental rights.
In 2012, Hironimus signed a parental agreement granting Nebus permission for the circumcision, but she had second thoughts about her decision shortly afterward.
“This could have a profound negative impact, a long-lasting if not permanent negative impact, on the child’s psychological condition,” Hunker told the Associated Press Tuesday.
A majority of American boys are still circumcised every year, though rates have been falling.
Meanwhile, the case has become a rallying cry on the Internet for so-called anti-circumcision “intactivists” who believe removing a boy’s foreskin from his penis is barbaric.