Mother Who Refuses To Follow Court Order To Vaccinate Son: ‘Most Likely, I’ll Be Going To Jail’


A Michigan woman said she will “most likely” go to jail this week if she refuses a court order to vaccinate her 9-year-old son.

And Rebecca Bredow, it seems, is willing to take that risk.

“I can’t give in against my own religious belief,” she told The Washington Post on Saturday. “This is about choice. This is about having my choices as a mother to be able to make medical choices for my child.”

Bredow, who lives in a Detroit suburb, has been embroiled in a custody battle with her ex-husband, James Horne. Last November, an Oakland County court sided with Horne, ordering Bredow to get their son vaccinated. But she has so far not done so. Bredow said the county judge had given her until Wednesday to get her son the medically allowed amount of vaccination, which would be up to eight vaccines.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to have my side heard,” she said, adding later: “Most likely, I’ll be going to jail on Wednesday.”

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 its ability to prevent diseases such as measles, mumps and other infectious diseases. Still, a majority of states allow religious exemptions for vaccinations. Nearly 20, including Michigan, provide exemption for religious and personal reasons. Only three, California, Mississippi and West Virginia, don’t allow nonmedical exemptions.

In Michigan, parents or guardians of children enrolled in public and private schools are required to attend an educational session, in which they learn about diseases that vaccines can prevent, before they’re given waivers for nonmedical purposes.

Bredow, who shares joint custody of her son with her ex-husband, said that’s what she had done. She added that she and Horne had initially agreed to delay their son’s vaccines for three months after he was born in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, she said they both agreed to suspend all immunizations, and their son has not had a vaccine shot since.

Horne did not return a call from The Post Saturday, but his lawyer, Benton G. Richardson, told ABC News that the dispute is not about vaccinations.

“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,” Richardson said.

The legal dispute also comes amid a growing anti-vaccine sentiment, which began in 1998, when a medical journal published a now-discredited study linking vaccination with autism. The once-fringe movement has become more popular and received a nod of approval from Donald Trump, who repeatedly suggested a link between vaccination and autism, before he ran for president.

“Autism WAY UP – I believe in vaccinations but not massive, all at once, shots. Too much for small child to handle. Govt. should stop NOW!”

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2014

“I am being proven right about massive vaccinations-the doctors lied. Save our children & their future.”

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2014

In January, vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said then-president-elect had asked him to chair a new commission on vaccines. A spokeswoman later said that Trump was exploring the possibility of creating a commission on autism.

The American Medical Association said in a statement that creating the commission “would cause unnecessary confusion and adversely impact parental decision-making and immunization practices.”

The plan appears to have stalled. Kennedy told STAT News last month that he has had no discussions with White House officials about the commission since February.

In Minnesota, which has experienced its worst measles outbreak in decades, anti-vaccine activists have stepped up their work to challenge efforts by public health officials and clinicians to prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease.

Bredow, whose marriage with Horne was annulled shortly after their son was born, said she is not against vaccination, reiterating that that choice should be left up to the parents.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post ยท Kristine Phillips



  1. If this is a question of religious rights, maybe Jewish groups should side with her. If a couple divorced and the mother is Jewish, the father might go to court against a bris for example, citing health concerns, or for a child to go to school on a Jewish holiday or not go to a Jewish school because of education “rights” versus religion, etc.

    • It could go both ways- if you side with the right of the mother to not allow the father to vaccinate, you would also end up siding with a mother who doesn’t want the father to give a bris.

  2. interesting that when a study emerged two weeks ago, that receiving the flu vaccine during pregnancy can cause a 7.7% increase in miscarriages, Matzav didn”t even carry that story. Here we have Motzai Yom Kippur, Matzav trying everything it could to divide our people.

    • Seriously get a life. Nothing about trying to “divide our people “. There are a handful of crazies in the frum world that don’t believe in vaccinating, nobody really cares about them!

  3. Vaccines are loaded with dangerous poisons and harmful toxins. Only a total brainless idiot would allow himself to be subjected to that! You’ve been brainwashed by the corrupt multi billion dollar pharmaceutical companies.

    • We want smallpox, we want mumps!
      Vaccinations are for chumps
      Anti-vaxxers are no fools
      Shots are just big pharma’s tools
      It’s a con job, we know that
      Just like we know the Earth is flat
      Germs are fake, it’s all a hoax
      So’s cancer in a guy who smokes
      Well, I know better than all that
      Thanks to my tinfoil hat

    • She’s a smart woman. Instead of hiding your head in the sand, find out why the number of children diagnosed with autism entering kindergarten in California has jumped 17% since 2015. When you’re done, find out about all other medical problems occurring because of vaccinations given even during pregnancy.


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