Michigan mom faces jail time for refusing to vaccinate son

(Reuters) - A Detroit mother must vaccinate her 9-year-old son by next week under a judge's order or she could go to jail, according to media reports.

Rebecca Bredow, a mother of two, told WXYZ-TV on Wednesday that she had one week to get her son vaccinated under an Oakland County judge's order as part of legal fight with her ex-husband.

"I would rather sit behind bars for standing up for what I believe in, than giving into something I strongly don't believe in," she told the station. "God forbid he were to be injured by one of the vaccines. Then what? That's what scares me."

Bredow and her ex-husband, James Horne, separated in 2008 and have joint legal custody, according to ABC-TV. She says he wants their son to receive all of his vaccinations but she is opposed.

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State law requires each student in public and private schools to possess a certificate of immunization. The American Academy of Pediatrics website stresses the importance and safety of vaccines on its website.

Michigan, however, also allows parents to get a vaccination waiver for medical, religious or philosophical issues, according to the website M-live. It was unclear whether Bredow has sought a waiver, and her attorney could not immediately be reached.

Benton Richardson, a lawyer for Horne - told ABC-TV that a court sided with Horne in November of 2016, ordering Bredow to vaccinate her son. Horne's name was listed as James in court records but ABC reported his name as Jason.

"It is our position that this case is not truly about vaccinations," Richardson said. "It is a case about Ms. Bredow refusing to comport with any number of the court's orders and actively seeking to frustrate Mr. Horne's joint legal custody rights."

(Reporting by Chris Kenning; Editing by Dan Grebler)

 

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