Health and Medicine

US Mom Could Be Jailed For Refusing To Vaccinate Her Son Against Potentially Life-Threatening Diseases


James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockOct 3 2017, 15:49 UTC


A mom from Detroit could serve jail time over her refusal to vaccinate her son. Rebecca Bredow was ordered by Oakland County judges on September 27 to vaccinate her boy within a week. Her time has nearly run out.


Rebecca Bredow and her ex-husband are embroiled in a court battle over the issue. Her ex-husband, Jason Horne, believes that their son should be vaccinated against potentially life-threatening diseases, including measles, mumps, and rubella. Bredow feels differently.

"I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don't believe in," she told WXYZ. "Why automatically side with the father that wants the vaccines? What about my choice as a mother?" 

So how safe are vaccines? Vaccines are rigorously tested for safety and are used because they save lives. As for claims that vaccinations cause autism, anti-vaxxers themselves have funded a study that found no link whatsoever between vaccinations and autism. To be clear, there is no link.

What's more, worldwide deaths have significantly dropped off since the introduction of the measles vaccine, for instance. Between 2000 and 2015, there was a 79 percent drop in measles deaths around the world, largely due to the vaccine.


Bredow was first asked to immunize her child in September 2016, ABC News report, but has not done so. She now has until 9am EDT (1pm GMT) on Wednesday to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated.

Bredow and Horne had initially agreed to space out their son's vaccines, rather than giving them to him all in one go.

Michigan schools require that students are vaccinated before they enter kindergarten and up until 7th grade. However, the state also allows parents to seek "waivers" for immunizations on the grounds of religious conviction, which Bredow has applied for.


She fears that her son may be hurt by the vaccine, though rigorous testing has proven vaccines are safe.

"God forbid if he were to be injured by a vaccine," Bredow said. "I would have to take care of him."

“I choose not to vaccinate, but that's my choice. I'm not against vaccines, it's everybody's personal choice."


Horne said through his lawyer that the case wasn't really about vaccines, but about Bredow's attempt to frustrate joint-custody rights. Nevertheless, her story is currently being shared by anti-vaxxers, who believe they should have the right to refuse vaccines and potentially spread harmful diseases to others.


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