Last week we shared the sad story of a recently divorced mother who was ordered by a court to have her son vaccinated or face jail time.
Rebecca Bredow, who had decided with her now-ex-husband to space out her son’s immunization schedule when she became concerned at how closely immunizations were clustered together in current vaccine schedules, found herself caught in the middle of a sad family court and parental rights struggle last week.
A judge gave her one week to have her son caught up on his vaccines after her ex-husband changed his mind about spacing out immunizations.
This week, the Oakland country, Michigan judge that made the order sentenced her to one week in jail for failing to do so.
Bredow says she is an informed vaccine-choice mother, and could not bring herself to take her son in to get the shots against her conscience. Her son, who is 9-years-old, would have had to be given up eight shots at once, which is the most vaccines medically allowed to be administered at once.
“I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” she said, according to the BBC.
She also told the Washington Post that all along, she had expected to go to jail.
“I can’t give in against my own religious belief,” she told the newspaper, clarifying that she is not against vaccination. “This is about choice. This is about having my choices as a mother to be able to make medical choices for my child.”
In Michigan, parents are allowed vaccination exemptions for religious or philosophical belief, but since this was an order from a judge involving a custody battle, the judge ruled in favor of Bredow’s ex-husband, who has since been awarded primary custody of their two children.
Divorces are ugly enough on children, and while it is unfortunate that Bredow and her husband did not agree, it is not fair to deprive her of her rights as a parent. This judge is quite literally splitting the baby, and Bredow’s young boy will most likely suffer the most if there is a complication with receiving so many vaccines at once.
We certainly pray that is not the case, and that the divorced parents can come to find more productive ways to settle disagreements as they continue to raise their children in the wake of their failed marriage.