This Mom May Be Going to Jail for Refusing to Vaccinate Her Son

mom faces jail time over vaccinations

Vaccines are a hot-button issue in the parenting community. Some believe they carry huge risks and try to avoid them at all costs, while others are so pro-vaccine as to believe they should be mandatory. But what happens when the disagreement over vaccines happens not between strangers online or extended family members, but between two parents of the same child? A Michigan mom has been threatened with jail time for making the choice not to vaccinate her son.


Rebecca Bredow claims that when her son was a newborn, she and her ex-husband, James Horne, originally agreed to space out and/or delay many of their now 9-year-old's vaccines. But as vaccines changed and doctors began grouping the vaccinations together, Bredow found herself growing weary and wanted to opt of vaccinating her child. "It wasn't until they started grouping them together that I backed off of doing vaccines," she told WXYZ News. "God forbid he were to be injured by one of the vaccines. Then what? It scares me."

More from CafeMom: My Mom Group Turned On Me After I Vaccinated My Kid

Grouped vaccines, such as the shot for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), concern some parents, because they believe there's a higher risk of complications when a child receives more than one vaccine at the same time. Around 40 percent of Americans delay vaccines for their kids, though research shows waiting on shots may actually increase a child's risk for illness or of experiencing unwanted side effects of the vaccines.

Bredow's ex-husband, James Horne, ultimately disagreed with her decision to forego their son's vaccinations and filed a lawsuit, drawing both of them into a legal battle that has lasted for the better part of a year.

According to Michigan law, parents are allowed to waive their child's vaccination requirements for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. Still, an Oakland County judge has sided with Horne on the issue. Bredow has officially been given until October 11 to vaccinate her son or face jail time instead. In reaction to the news, Bredow told WXYZ News, "I feel angry. I feel backed into a corner. I feel my rights as a parent have been taken away."

More from CafeMom: 22 Things Never to Say to Moms Who Don't Vaccinate

Interestingly, Bredow's case isn't the only one of its kind. in 2014, a woman in Australia took her husband to court over his desire to vaccinate their two kids. And in 2015, a Florida mom was arrested and accused of kidnapping her own child to avoid childhood vaccinations.

Bredow believes that all parents should have the right to decide whether or not to vaccinate their children without outside interference. Even with full knowledge that she's facing jail time if she doesn't comply and vaccinate her son, she is standing firm in her convictions. "I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than give in to something I strongly don't believe in," she told WXYZ.

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