A mother from Michigan, US has been sentenced to seven days in prison after she dismissed a judge’s order to get her nine-year-old son vaccinated. On Wednesday, Rebecca Bredow was sentenced for contempt of court, nearly a year after an Oakland County judge ordered her to have her son vaccinated. Citing religious reasons, Bredow refused to get her son the medically allowed amount of vaccination – which would be up to eight vaccines – for which she had received time till Wednesday.
She had initially agreed with the father – her ex-husband, Jack Horne – to get their son immunised. However, her eventual refusal to do so earned her a 7-day jail sentence, while her ex-husband has been awarded temporary primary custody in order to get the boy his vaccinations. According to a BBC report, Michigan parents are legally allowed to skip or delay their children’s vaccinations due to personal beliefs. But Bredow fell foul of the law because she reneged on agreements with her former spouse dating back to November 2016 to have the boy immunised. “I’m a passionate mother who cares deeply about my children, their health and their well-being. . . . If my child was forced to be vaccinated, I couldn’t bring myself to do it,” Bredow said during a court hearing, according to the Associated Press. The couple separated in 2008, according to ABC News, but they shared parental custody and the father still wanted the boy vaccinated. “I understand you love your children. But what I don’t think you understand is that your son has two parents, and dad gets a say,” Judge Karen McDonald told Bredow, the AP reported. As per the Washington Post, parents who either delay or refuse vaccinations for their children do so for a number of reasons, including religious, personal and philosophical beliefs, safety concerns, and a desire for more information from health-care providers, according to 2016 research published in the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The American Medical Association has long decried allowing parents to decline vaccination for nonmedical reasons and has cited vaccines’ ability to prevent diseases such as measles, mumps and other infectious diseases.