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Court sides with dad to circumcise son, puts gag order on mom

Circumcision is always guaranteed to be a hot-button topic. If you want to start an argument among friends, or especially on the internet, bring up the great circumcision debate. Based on recent court rulings, circumcision rights have become even more complicated: An appeals court judge sided with a father’s choice to circumcise his son.

Dennis Nebus and Heather Hironimus are parents of now 4-year-old Chase. When Chase was 3, Nebus and Hironimus went to court to fight over his circumcision: Dad was for it, Mom was against.

Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen of the 15th judicial district in Palm Beach County ruled in favor of the father. But there’s more — Judge Gillen also placed a gag order on Chase’s mother so that she could not speak to the media or even tell her son about her opposition to his circumcision.

Chase’s mother believes that there is no medical reason for her son to be circumcised and that a procedure at this age could endanger him. Several internet campaigns were launched on her behalf because of the gag order, including a fundraiser for legal fees by the Children’s Health Advocates for Surgical Ethics and a #SavingChase Twitter campaign.

I can see how this mom would be outraged — as we’ve already established, circumcision is a topic with strong feelings on either side of the debate. But I would like to kindly point out that a Twitter activism campaign for her young son’s foreskin is a little much. There are plenty of other great causes to consider. From my nonscientific research of many males I have encountered, circumcision is not going to ruin Chase’s life.

This is certainly an unpopular opinion, but I side with Chase’s father too. Both of my sons were circumcised as newborns, precisely because my husband thought it was a good idea. I have a brain, and I read the research on both sides. However, I do not have a penis, so I ultimately left the decision up to my husband.

I will grant the fact that it seems a little ridiculous to fight for a young boy’s circumcision at the age of 4. Ideally, Chase would have been circumcised as a newborn if both parents agreed.

In most cases, circumcision is left up to the parents. I understand the argument that it violates a young boy’s autonomy, but parents are making a decision that they believe to be best at the time — something parents have to do every day. The judge ruled in favor of circumcision. Now, we can all let it go and drop the unnecessary Twitter campaigns.

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