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After week in jail, Florida mom agrees to son’s circumcision

Heather Hironimus, with her attorney, Thomas Hunker, cried as she signed the consent for her son’s circumcision.Amy Beth Bennett/Associated press

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A Florida woman’s years-long battle against her child’s father over the boy’s circumcision ended Friday with her agreeing to the procedure in exchange for her release from jail.

In a remarkable turnaround after a week behind bars for contempt and an initial hearing in which she was ordered to remain jailed, court reconvened and a sobbing Heather Hironimus signed paperwork giving approval for the 4-year-old boy’s surgery.

She recoiled in tears and clasped her shackled hands after it was done.

The shift, though under duress, threatened the hero status given to Hironimus by a national movement of people opposed to circumcision, who have followed every turn of her case.


Attorneys for both Hironimus and the boy’s father, Dennis Nebus, declined to comment, citing an ongoing gag order in the case.

Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America, which advocates against circumcision, said Hironimus had been ‘‘bullied’’ into signing, calling it the ‘‘saddest commentary on the court.’’

‘‘I don’t know what’s in his head,’’ she said of Judge Jeffrey Gillen, who presided over the case. ‘‘I don’t know how he can sleep at night.’’

Hironimus and Nebus had initially agreed to the circumcision in a parenting agreement filed in court, but the mother changed her mind.

Associated Press