Heather Hironimus: Mother fighting to stop child's circumcision appears in court in Florida

Friends say mother is simply doing what she can to protect a child who is 'scared to death' of the procedure

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The Independent US

The long-running court battle of a Florida woman who went on the run with her son to avoid his circumcision reached court with a judge questioning her right to the legal challenge.

US District Judge Kenneth Marra reacted with scepticism to the case put by the boy’s mother, Heather Hironimus, “Aren’t you really asking me to revisit and second-guess?” Marra said near the start of the 80-minute hearing in West Palm Beach.

The mother went missing with the boy nearly three months ago and, it is claimed, ignored a judge’s warnings that if she failed to appear in court and give consent for the circumcision to proceed, she faced jail.

In a last attempt to stop the case, Thomas Hunker, who is representing Ms Hironimus, had submitted a motion for a restraining order against Ms Hironimus’ father. Ms Hironimus argues circumcision “will permanently and irreversibly mutilate” her son and brings the risk of “permanent brain damage or death”. 

Though Marra made no ruling, he was often incredulous as Ms Hironimus’ attorney, Thomas Hunker, contended the case could continue in federal court because it was filed on behalf of the boy.

Mr Hunker said the child’s interests were not fully and fairly represented in state court and that the boy had the right to make his own wishes known.