A Michigan mother will spend a week behind bars after she defied an order by a judge to have her son, who is 9, vaccinated.
Rebecca Bredow was given a 7-day sentence for contempt of court on Wednesday, close to one year after a judge in Michigan ordered her to vaccinate her son. Bredow was given until this week to have her son receive the medically allowed number of vaccinations, which is as many as eight.
However, she cited religious beliefs for refusing to vaccinate her son. In a court hearing, Bredow called herself a passionate mother who cares deeply for her children, their well-being and their health and told the judge that if her child was forced to have vaccines, she could not bring herself to allow it.
The short jail sentence becomes the latest in custody battle she has with James Horne her ex-husband, who wants their child to be vaccinated and holds joint custody of their son.
The judge told Bredow that she understands that the mother loves her children, but what she does not understand is there are two parents and the dad has a say.
Temporary custody was granted to Horne by the judge and ordered that the boy was vaccinated. The judge added that the attorney for Bredow had signed a court order in November for vaccination which meant Bredow agreed to have her son vaccinated.
The judge admonished Bredow saying it was clear to her that the mother did not care about court orders even when she agreed to them, which she did.
An attorney for the father said his client will have his son vaccinated.
Bredow said outside court before the hearing that she expected to be sentenced to jail. She said she could go against her religious beliefs, adding she was not against vaccinations, but this was about choice and having the choices as a mother to medical choice for her child.
Parents that either refuse or delay vaccinating their children do so for many reasons including personal, philosophical and religious beliefs, safety concerns, and the desire for additional information for their healthcare provider.
In Michigan, it is required by parents or guardians of kids enrolled in private or public schools to attend a session where they learn about the different diseases that vaccines prevent, prior to being given a waiver for any nonmedical purposes.
Bredow said she and her ex-husband had agreed initially to delay having their son vaccinated after being born in 2008.
Then in 2010 the two agreed to suspend immunizations and since their son has not received any.