Shackled and weeping, 31-year-old Heather Hironimus signed a consent form in court Friday allowing her son Chase’s foreskin to be removed after a years-long legal battle.
During her separation from Chase’s father in 2012, Hironimus briefly agreed to have her son circumcised, changing her mind afterward. In May of last year, she was able to secure an emergency order temporarily delaying the operation, but the mother was jailed last week after failing to comply with a March ruling that the boy be circumcised.
According to The Palm Beach Post, Judge Jeffrey Gillen told Hironimus in court on Friday that she could remain incarcerated indefinitely if she refused to sign the consent form. Initially, the mother invoked her Fifth Amendment privileges and would not respond, but after privately consulting her attorney, Hironimus signed the form.
“A consent form signed under mental anguish and with the threat of staying in jail is not consent,” anti-circumcision “intactivist” Petrina Fadel told the Sun-Sentinel. “That is coercion, and no doctor anywhere should be willing to perform a surgery on a child who does not need it, does not want it, and whose mother was coerced.”