A Michigan judge has reduced the child custody rights of a woman who was jailed for five days for not following through on an agreement to vaccinate her 9-year-old son.
Oakland County Judge Karen McDonald ruled Wednesday that Rebecca Bredow will no longer have primary custody of the boy, but will have joint custody with her ex-husband, James Horne.
Bredow, from suburban Detroit, agreed to immunize her son last November during a custody battle with her husband, the judge noted in court last Wednesday.
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A Michigan judge has reduced the child custody rights of a woman after being found in cotempt of court and jailed for five days
Rebecca Bredow, a mother-of-two from suburban Detroit, is going to spend a week in jail after being found in contempt of court for not immunizing her son, who she is pictured with, despite signing a legal document in court stating she would do so
Bredow, who is from suburban Detroit, agreed to immunize her son last November during a custody battle with her husband, the judge noted in court on Wednesday. However, she went back on that agreement, which landed her in jail
But after months of failing to the comply with the court's ruling, Judge McDonald held Bredow in contempt and jailed her for five days.
'It's clear to me that you don't care about orders even if you agree to them, which you did,' Judge McDonald explained during proceedings last week. 'Your attorney signed that order.'
Bredow said she takes 'full responsibility' for not following court orders, saying that vaccinations go against her religious beliefs and that she should have made her objections to them sooner.
'I'm a passionate mother who cares deeply about my children, their health, and their well-being,' she said.
'If my child was forced to be vaccinated, I couldn't bring myself to do it.'
Bredow said she takes 'full responsibility' for not following court orders, saying that vaccinations go against her beliefs and that she should have made her objections to them clearer sooner. Her nine-year-old son, who is not named, is pictured
Rebecca Bredow was handcuffed and booked into jail for a week after refusing to take her nine-year-old son to be vaccinated, despite agreeing to do so in a custody battle with her son's father
Bredow claims that she and her ex-husband initially decided to complete the shots over a period of time, but that she later decided to go against that decision without talking to him.
In the state of Michigan, schools require students to receive vaccinations before entering Kindergarten and up until 7th grade, while transfer students are required to be administered vaccines into their high school years.
According to Michigan.gov, the vaccines include: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Conjugate and Varicella (Chicken Pox).
However, Bredow told WXYZ she was permitted to delay her son's shots for personal, medical or religious reasons.
While the family had the option to wait, the child's father showed concerned about their son's well-being and took the matter to court when he lost power.
The judge said the mother frequently makes decisions about how to raise their children without speaking with her ex-husband.
Bredow told reporters Wednesday she was 'in shock' by the court's decision. Her attorney plans to appeal.
Bredow's nine-year-old son received four immunizations on Monday.