circumcision
Heather Hironimus, who has been in hiding to avoid a court-mandated circumcision of her son, was arrested on Thursday for contempt of courtReuters/Andy Clark

A Florida mother who has been on the run from the authorities after refusing to allow her four-year-old son to be circumcised has been arrested on contempt of court charges.

Heather Hironimus, 31, disappeared three months ago after a judge ruled she turn over her child to his father, Dennis Nebus, to be circumcised. Nebus pushed for the circumcision after noticing his son was urinating on his leg.

She initially agreed in court to the circumcision but later changed her mind as she argued it violated his Christian faith and was against his human rights. The boy is also reportedly "scared to death" of having the procedure.

The judge rebuked Hironimus for failing to attend a court appearance and signed a warrant for her arrest.

She now remains in custody after being arrested for violating a judge's ruling and has been ordered to allow the circumcision to take place.

According to the Daily Mail, circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen called her "reprehensible" because her behaviour made her son "an object of curiosity and worse".

The case of Hironimus has won support from the "intactivist" movement that lobbies against the practice of circumcision.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 1979 and 2010, the rates of infant circumcision had declined from 64.5% to 58.3%.