A Florida mother who fought for years to keep her son from being circumcized and was jailed for defying a court order was free Sunday after finally caving in and signing papers to allow the procedure. Heather Hironimus was released from jail late Saturday after having spent a week in in lockup for disappearing with her 4-year-old son ahead of a scheduled circumcision, ABC News reported.
Hironimus, 31, has been locked in a dispute her son's father, Dennis Nebus, over whether the child should be circumcised. After agreeing in court to removal of the child’s foreskin, she later decided against it, triggering a legal fight that has spanned years.
In May 2014, a Palm Beach County judge ruled in favor of Nebus, saying the child should be circumcised. The judge ordered Hironimus to schedule the procedure in March, but the mother and son went missing for several months. She was found in a Broward County shelter May 14, which is when she was sent to jail for interference with custody, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office said.
Hironimus filed a federal suit against Nebus arguing her son did not medically require circumcision. Her suit also alleges there could be negative psychological effects from the procedure.
But in court Friday, she was told she would remain jailed indefinitely unless she consented in writing to the surgery. At the end of the hearing, Hironimus broke down and signed the papers, setting in motion her release.
The case has become a flashpoint for anti-circumcision activists, who have vowed to contact doctors around the country beg them not to perform the surgery, CBS News reported.
Lawyers from both sides declined to comment on the case.