A California woman has been sentenced to serve seven days in jail after refusing to vaccinate her son.
Rebecca Breedow, of Ferndale, was sentenced to jail by Oakland County Circuit Judge Karen McDonald for refusing to comply with an order to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated, Detroit’s CBS affiliate reports.
Under the court’s order – handed down Wednesday – the child was to be vaccinated that day.
In sentencing her to jail, Judge McDonald pointed out that Breedow and her lawyer signed an order in November agreeing that their child would be vaccinated. McDonald said there was never an appeal of that order and that Breedow never asked it to be set aside.
— Charlie Langton (@charlielangton) October 4, 2017
The order from the court stems from an earlier custody hearing where the boy’s father said he wanted his son to be vaccinated. Breedow had concerns, apparently, about having all the vaccinations lumped together.
Breedow’s current husband (not the biological father of the child) disagreed with the judge’s decision.
“I think it’s horrific; to me it’s a worst case scenario,” he said. “For a mother who has done and followed all of the state exemption laws, never had her voice truly heard in this court…I think it’s absolutely horrible.”
Michigan is one of 17 states that allows for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from vaccines.
Breedow said she thinks the judge was motivated by her own “pro-vaccine” beliefs and her husband said they plan to appeal.
Tasha Shurgin was among protesters gathered outside the courthouse. How does she feel about the outcome?
“I don’t think that going to jail is ever good, but I think it’s important that people stand for what they believe,” she told WWJ’s Charlie Langton. “I don’t think she could life with herself; I know I couldn’t live with myself if I was forced to make a decision that goes against everything I believe in.”
The boy is now in the custody of his father.
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) October 4, 2017
Breedow said she’d rather spend a week in prison than give up her convictions.
“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 told WXYZ.
She had one week to comply with a judge’s order to get her child his shots, or she could go to jail.
Bredow and the child’s father had made the decision to get their child vaccinated when he was born, but space them out, delaying some.
“It wasn’t until they started grouping them together that I backed off of doing vaccines,” she told WXYZ.
Skipping or delaying vaccines is permitted in Michigan.
“We’re fortunate in the state of Michigan that’s still permitted, still allow religious, personal and medical exemptions for parents who chose to delay, to skip a vaccine to make various choices,” anti-vaccine advocate Joel Dorfman told WXYZ.
What do you think? Does it put the child in jeopardy by not getting vaccination? Do you believe the rumors that vaccines are linked to autism? Should jail time be an appropriate punishment for failing to vaccinate your child? Sound off below and let us know!