Mom jailed for refusing to vaccinate her 9-year-old son

FERNDALE, MICH. - A Ferndale mother was jailed this morning for ignoring a court order to vaccinate her 9-year-old son.

Rebecca Bredow, 40, will spend seven days in the Oakland County Jail for contempt of court after she refused an order Judge Karen McDonald gave her last week.

Bredow told McDonald that vaccinating the child went against her religious beliefs.

"If my child is going to be forced to be vaccinated, I couldn't bring myself to do," Bredow told the judge today in court. "It goes against my beliefs."

WXYZ-TV Detroit quoted Bredow as saying she would rather go to jail.

"I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don't believe in," Bredow said.

Bredow's ex-husband, James Horne, wants the child immunized and has been in court since last year trying to get it.

McDonald acknowledged the father's right to influence his son's health care.

The court initially ordered the immunization Nov. 16, 2016, but it still hasn't happened. In between, Bredow cited religious objections.

But Horne's attorney said in court pleadings that the religious objection was phony arguing that both Bredow and her current husband, Gary, "testified that they do not practice the tenets of any organized religion," and calling a waiver document the couple filed with the child's school "a convenient lie."

Bredow said in court pleadings that her ex-husband has long known of her objection to vaccines and is only making an issue of it now because she's been attempting to collect back child support.Last week, McDonald issued an ultimatum, to Bredow.

"You have seven days to get your child vaccinated," McDonald told Bredow Sept. 27. "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."

But when Bredow appeared in court today, the child still had not be vaccinated, and McDonald made good on her promise and ordered Bredow to jail.

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© Detroit Free Press


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