December 12, 2014
Appellate court won't halt circumcision for 4-year-old Palm Beach County boyThe Palm Beach County boy celebrated his fourth birthday on Oct. 31, and six days later a state appeals court cleared the way for his long-delayed circumcision.
But the child's foreskin has yet to be surgically removed as his father wishes.
The boy's mother insists it is not medically necessary and asked for the unusual case to be heard by the Florida Supreme Court, but her battle may be nearing the end: the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach Friday denied that request, meaning the procedure appears to be one step closer to taking place.
An army of special interest groups opposed to circumcision has rallied behind the mom. With websites and local demonstrations, these so-called "intactivists" have closely followed the parents' yearlong battle over the boy, Chase Ryan Nebus-Hironimus.
Jonathan Friedman, head of an organization called Bloodstained Men, has helped organize a legal bills fundraiser for the mom, Heather Hironimus, on a website called SavingChase.org. He says although the court's ruling clears the way, he doesn't think Chase's circumcision is inevitable.
"The medical community could still stand up for the boy and refuse to do it," Friedman said Friday, after hearing the case may have reached a legal dead end.
Another activist, Rebecca Wald, of Fort Lauderdale, cringes at the thought of the boy being circumcised.
"It's unfortunate the court decided the way that it did," Wald said. "Circumcision is bad enough — but when you have a 4-year-old boy who is terrified to lose part of his penis and will remember it for the rest of his life, it's insanity."
Wald has reported the yearlong court struggle on her website, BeyondtheBris.com. She advocates a ceremony called a Brit Shalom, an alternative to the traditional Jewish custom. Neither the boy's mother nor father, Dennis Nebus, are Jewish, but Wald said she felt compelled to get involved because "what's happening here is so egregious."
Attorneys for the mom and for the dad have declined to comment about the case. The dad has said he believes circumcision is "just the normal thing to do."
In an email Tuesday, the father's attorneys told the Sun Sentinel it is "a private family matter." They have previously blasted the mother in court for "parading the child's face and name all over the Internet," granting media interviews, and working with a Facebook page called Chase's Guardians.