One day soon, he’ll wake up from general anesthesia with a bandage on his penis, holding together the raw wound from a freshly amputated foreskin, stuck with sick pride like a narcissist’s apology. He’ll receive no explanation other than “It’s what your father wanted,” because his anguished mother had been placed under a gag order. After this life-altering day, he will experience the permanent loss of a normally-functioning body organ, and undoubtedly the irreversible physical effects of such. One cannot foresee the severity of either these effects or those of extremely plausible post-traumatic stress and psychological battery.
Sadly, as it stands now, a broken body can be expected. Then a broken spirit will make a broken boy, and a gruesome example of justice for human rights in modern America.
This is the reality that faces Chase Hironimus — IF we don’t step in and make it known that this is NOT okay.
On November 6, 2014, the perfectly healthy four-year-old boy was court-ordered to undergo the cosmetic surgery per his father’s wishes and against the enlightened judgment of his mother. Chase is fully aware of himself and remains unwilling, yet the powers that be aren’t even listening.
Won’t someone speak up for Chase? Each of us is a “someone,” and collectively we CAN be loud enough for him and other unconsenting boys who preceded him as objects pawned between actors of ignorance and immorality.
The Landmark Case
Per the press release by Amber Baxley of The Intact Network:
“On November 6, 2014, a Florida court decided that a healthy four year old boy will undergo an unnecessary, risky surgery at the insistence of his father. This 4 year old boy’s name is Chase, and his mother is fighting a battle to save him.
According to court records, in December 2011, Heather Hironimus [his mother] signed a parenting agreement which gave Chase’s father, Dennis Nebus [they were never married], permission to have their (then) baby boy circumcised. Three years later, Chase is still intact, happy and healthy.
Heather Hironimus realized over the years that removing Chase’s foreskin was unnecessary, and as he became older the surgery, and anesthesia, were fraught with additional risks. She argues that the surgery is purely cosmetic and the parenting plan no longer pertains to a now older, and more aware, boy. Pediatric urologist Charles Flack told the judge that circumcision is not medically necessary.
Genital autonomy advocates believe Chase’s physical and mental health are at risk. [Chase] is aware of his full, functioning body and does not want to have surgery on his genitals. Forcing a child to undergo cosmetic surgery is a violation of basic human rights and medical ethics. This is an unprecedented case worthy of international media attention.”
Per the Saving Chase page, run by Hollie Ann Redinger of Illinois:
“Despite living for four years with his whole, completely healthy penis, Chase’s father insists that his son must endure a risky surgery to remove a vital part of his body. Chase is aware of what lies ahead, and the once carefree four year old is afraid and does not consent. He says things like, ‘Please don’t let daddy cut my pee pee.’
Originally this mother started receiving support from the intactivist community. However, the father’s legal team was able to get a gag order put into place and was able to thwart all public funding on her son’s behalf. This family has been forced to remain silent and this mother isn’t allowed to discuss this with media or post about this publicly and is also not even allowed to ask for legal fund donations, all of that is clearly a restriction on her freedom of speech and inhibits her due process.”
The Mother’s Perspective
Both parents have testified that there is no religious reason that the father has pushed for circumcision.
The mother’s original post at Saving Our Sons in April 2014:
“I am entering into the fight of my life (and for my son’s life) to protect him from being court ordered to be circumcised. Before I was educated on the subject, I stupidly signed into the custody agreement that my son would be circumcised (this was when he was only a couple months old) because that is what his dad wants. He is now 3 1/2 years old and I have a second court date next month regarding this matter. Based on the first meeting in front of the judge, the judge seems very pro-circumcision. He had us take him to see a pediatric urologist since my son’s father was claiming he had phimosis, which was determined at the appointment that he did not have. The judge wants to hear from the doctor, but I am still very scared as to what may happen since my son’s dad and attorney are still pressing the matter. All I want to do is protect my son and I am looking for any and all help possible to stop the circumcision from happening and from possibly being ordered to happen by a judge. If anyone can help, or lead me to someone who can, I would greatly appreciate it.”
Clearly, a simple matter of Breach of Contract it is, and so it should be treated. Should Chase have to suffer because his mother made a bad decision on paper without opportunity for education? Should Chase himself endure punishment from a biased judge and misinformed jury at the expense of his own body?
Chase is of the age at which he can capably express his own wishes. At this point, the opinions of Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen, the jury, and his father Dennis Nebus are irrelevant. Shouldn’t Chase’s clearly verbalized opinion override a no longer applicable parental agreement? If this isn’t a flagrant violation of human rights, then we dear Americans have a serious problem.
How You Can Help Chase
Now you know the appalling fate that Chase currently faces unless people like you and I can help bring sense to the senseless. Herein you are responsible to act in some small or big way on young Chase’ behalf. He deserves a break; not a cut.
1). SIGN THE CHANGE.ORG PETITIONS: “Rescind judgment to have a minor child circumcised against his mother’s wishes” and “Dismiss the case forcing circumcision on a 4 year old Florida boy.“
2). DONATE FUNDS to help with the extensive legal fees to accrue in appeal: YouCaring Fundraiser
3). TWEET about Chase’s crisis at outspoken anti-circumcision celebrities, businesses, and those with strong presence on the format. Use the hashtags #SavingChase and #i2 and include the handle @savingchase4
Retweeted by actress Alicia Silverstone:
Retweeted by actor John Leguizamo:
Retweeted by actor Russell Crowe:
4). WRITE to your local lawmakers! Respectfully offer direction to education on circumcision, as well as insight into why you care about Chase and why they should too. Let them know that you want to see true justice for this landmark case.
Finally, let’s get a few relevant myths about circumcision cleared up before you click away.
MYTH: Intact boys grow into men who eventually need to undergo the surgery anyway.
TRUTH: Only 1 in 16,667 males will actually require a therapeutic circumcision later in life. And the fact that 1 in 11,100 DIES from his non-therapeutic routine circumcision means a boy has a much greater chance of dying from the procedure than ever needing it in the first place.
MYTH: Major complications are rare enough to be insignificant. It’s just a snip!
TRUTH: Death is listed as a circumcision complication. DEATH. Isn’t that reason enough to question, to wonder — is this even necessary? About 117 babies die per year in the U.S. alone as a direct result of circumcision. That’s one out of every 77 male neonatal deaths. (Point of reference: at least 115 babies die per year due to SIDS). Isn’t it extreme enough if only ONE case like this happened, ever? ALL of these deaths are avoidable because a parent CAN say say “No!” This is a human rights issue, not a math problem.
MYTH: Children and babies don’t remember circumcision. It has not been shown to be psychologically harmful.
TRUTH: Check out these psychological studies that demonstrate that babies do remember pain and that men can suffer long-term effects:
- “Babies Remember Pain” by David B. Chamberlain Ph. D.
- “MRI Studies: The Brain Permanently Altered from Circumcision” by Dr. Paul D. Tinari Ph.D.
- “Study Links Circumcision to Personality Trait Disorder” by Intact News
MYTH: There’s not enough reliable information available to understand the facts and fictions about circumcision.
TRUTH: The evidence today proves that routine infant circumcision is unnecessary and harmful. You can learn more about circumcision in the links below, or YouTube real videos of the procedure being performed (I don’t recommend it…or maybe I do).
Child Circumcision: An Elephant in the Hospital (lecture video)
Circumstitions – The link directs to a page that shows adult penises that had been previously circumcised and suffer the current evidence of various cosmetic and/or medical issues. Many of these issues were accepted as “normal” and not attributed to surgery in infancy. It contains graphic images so proceed with this NSFW warning..
Stanford School of Medicine – From the site: “The information contained in [this site’s] links…is intended for health care providers who are caring for newborns in a setting where circumcision might be desired by the parents.”