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Judge: OK, Unvaccinated Mother Can See Child

Chicago judge reverses controversial order
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2021 12:07 AM CDT
Judge: OK, Unvaccinated Mother Can See Child
Stock photo   (Getty Images / BCFC)

(Newser) – The judge who barred an unvaccinated Chicago mom from seeing her 11-year-old son until she got a COVID shot has reversed that order after the story started making headlines. Rebecca Firlit, who hadn't seen her son since August 10 when the judge's order was issued at a virtual child support hearing, told the Chicago Sun-Times Monday, the day the order was revoked, that she was en route to see her son. However, she predicted the issue was not over: "I know that they are going to say that I’m an endangerment to my son." She says her doctor has advised her not to get vaccinated due to adverse reactions to vaccines in the past, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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Indeed, while it was the judge, not Firlit's ex-husband, who raised the vaccination issue, a lawyer for the ex calls the reversal "unfortunate" and says he will be fighting it. This isn't the first time Judge James Shapiro has made vaccination status an issue at his hearings: He asked a man at another child support hearing recently whether he'd been vaccinated, and at another hearing that same day, he asked someone else the same thing. He also said, in video shot by one of the men, "I have been ordering parents to get vaccinated and some kids to get vaccinated also. That’s how strongly I feel about the efficacy of this vaccine." Firlit's attorney tells Fox 32 Chicago it was the backlash to his order that caused him to revoke it after it started getting media attention. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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