The mother from Ferndale, Michigan who refused to get her 9-year-old son vaccinated went to jail for five days after refusing a judge’s order.
Rebecca Bredow, 40, has been in a hot legal battle with her ex-husband, James Horne, regarding their son’s vaccinations. Bredow refused to get the boy immunized, which Horne contested. Horne had his son get the shots on Monday, when he had custody and Bredow was locked up, USA Today reports.
Horne declined to comment after the hearing, according to his attorney, Benton Richardson. Bredow, on the other hand, was near tears as she discussed her stint in prison and the court rulings. “It was the worst five days of my life, except for the fact that I just found out that he was vaccinated and I’m not going to get him back today,” she said.
It’s been a rough few days to say the least.
Bredow and Horne divorced in 2008, before the boy was born. Since then, Bredow has had physical custody, with Horne taking his son on alternate weekends.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Karen McDonald approved a recommendation from a court referee to split custody of the child 50-50. McDonald gave Bredow’s attorney, Steven Vitale, 21 days to object to the decision, which Vitale says he intends to do.
McDonald found Bredow in contempt of court for refusing an earlier order to get her son vaccinated – an unusual decision. The judge had made her intentions clear at the previous week’s hearing, telling Bredow, “You have seven days to get your child vaccinated. If not, you will appear here Wednesday and if you have not, I’ll send you to jail. Let me say it one more time, you have seven days. It’s ridiculous. Don’t make me do that.”
Bredow said that she could not push through with getting her son immunized, while McDonald pointed out that she had consented in court proceedings in November 2016. Refusing to do so now equaled contempt of court.
Vitale argued that those pleadings were filed by a previous attorney in error, and that Bredow never intended to agree to vaccinations. Bredow had cited religious objections to immunization, and has avoided them since her son was born.