A woman in Michigan is facing possible jail time for refusing to get her son vaccinated, after an Oakland County judge took the side of the child’s father.
Rebecca Bredow said, “I would rather sit behind bars for standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in.” The mother of two kids said she and her then-husband, Jason Horne, agreed at the time their 9-year-old was born that they would delay and space out vaccines for him, ABC News reports.
Bredow said, “It wasn’t until they started grouping them together that I backed off of doing vaccines.” According to her, she educated herself and chose waivers that are possible under Michigan state law, which allows for non-vaccination based on religious, personal or medical beliefs. She added,
I believe in the choice of the parent to make the right decision based on their knowledge of vaccines.
Vaccination is a personal decision, she firmly stated. “I choose not to vaccinate, but that’s my choice. I’m not against vaccines, it’s everybody’s personal choice.”
Bredow and Horne separated in 2008, and Horne strongly disagreed with her decision, insisting that their son receive all his vaccinations. Horne took the argument to court, where a judge ordered Bredow to have the boy vaccinated within one week, or face an undetermined amount of time in prison.
Both adults share joint legal custody of the child, but Bredow is the primary caretaker. “God forbid if he were to be injured by a vaccine. I would have to take care of him,” she said.
“I feel like my rights as a parent have been taken away,” Bredow said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to get their children vaccinated, emphasizing the importance and safety of vaccines on overall health. The AAP’s website says, “Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are the most significant medical innovation of our time. Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives.”