She Refused to Vaccinate Her Son. Now She's Headed to Jail

Rebecca Bredow found in contempt of court Wednesday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2017 2:02 PM CDT
Mom Jailed for 7 Days After Refusing to Vaccinate Son
   (Getty Images/scyther5)

A Michigan woman was sentenced to seven days in jail on Wednesday after refusing to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated, the AP reports. According to WXYZ, judge Karen McDonald found Rebecca Bredow in contempt of court for ignoring a court order to have her son immunized. Bredow had agreed to the court order last November. Bredow is her son's primary caregiver, but her ex-husband wanted their son vaccinated. "I understand you love your children," McDonald told Bredow. "But what I don't think you understand is that your son has two parents, and dad gets a say." The judge went on to say Bredow has a history of making unilateral parenting decisions when it comes to her children.

Bredow said she takes "full responsibility" for failing to adhere to the court order and should have made her objections to vaccinations known earlier, WJBK reports. "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. Bredow's ex-husband will get temporary custody of their son while Bredow is in jail and will have him vaccinated. Michigan has some of the lowest vaccination rates for children in the US. It ranks 43rd in vaccinations for children under 3, and only 54% of its toddlers are up to date on their vaccinations. (More vaccination stories.)

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