A US mother who was jailed for refusing to allow her son to be circumcised remains behind bars despite withdrawing her case.
Heather Hironimus, 31, went into hiding with her four-year-old son after a bitter legal battle with the boy’s father Dennis Nebus, reported Sky news.
The couple were never married, but share custody of their child and had filed a parenting agreement in court where they both agreed to their son being circumcised.
‘Scared to death’
But Hironimus later changed her mind, with her son reportedly “scared to death” of the procedure.
In March, a Palm Beach County judge signed a warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear in court so the procedure could be carried out.
She was arrested after going into hiding with her son at a domestic violence shelter.
According to reports, Hironimus has now withdrawn her case in the belief there was no hope of it succeeding and to have continued would have jeopardised her custody rights to her son.
Thomas Hunker, attorney for the mother, told her supporters that his mission now is to try to get Heather “out of jail and preserve her custody rights.”
However in the latest twist in the extraordinary case, she has not been released as she is now charged with interfering with the father’s custody of the boy.
Judges have sided with Mr Nebus, but surgeons have refused to carry out the operation after Hironimus refused to give consent and anti-circumcision protesters targeted them.
The mother’s lawyer said continuing the lawsuit opposing the circumcision would surely result in “an unfavorable order which could potentially hurt the cause and future efforts to establish a child’s right to object to circumcision. I hope you understand and agree that under the circumstances, this was our only available option”.
The decision to back down from the case has triggered sadness and anger from anti-circumcision campaigners who have backed her case and raised funds to support the legal battle.
Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America, told the Sun Sentinal: “What we hope for now is that the father will have compassion for his young son, and not compound the trauma of the past few months with the trauma of a medically unnecessary surgery.”