A Michigan mom in the midst of a court battle over not wanting her 9-year-old son vaccinated has lost primary custody of him.
Rebecca Bredow found out about the split custody (50/50) with the child’s father James Horne after she was released from Oakland County jail early Monday.
Last week Bredow was found in contempt of court for not following an Oakland County judge order from a year ago to get her son vaccinated.
“It was the worst five days of my life pretty much,” the 40-year-old mother told the Detroit Free Press Wednesday about her time in jail, “except for the fact that I just found out that he was vaccinated and I’m not going to get him back today.
Bredow’s ex-husband, James Horn, was given custody while she was serving time in jail. Horn followed the court order and got his son vaccinated.
Bredow had refused to get her son vaccinated on religious grounds.
“I can’t give in against my own religious belief,” she told The Washington Post last month, adding she is not against vaccination. “This is about choice. This is about having my choices as a mother to be able to make medical choices for my child.”
Oakland County Circuit Judge Karen McDonald told Bredow last week that she is not the only parent who deserves a say in their son’s care. The boy’s father had wanted to get his son vaccinated so he did just that while the mother sat in jail.
The American Medical Association has long decried allowing parents to decline vaccination for nonmedical reasons and has cited vaccines’ 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.
The debate over the benefits versus the downside of vaccines started in 1998 when a medical journal published a study linking vaccination with autism. The once-fringe movement (of the debunked medical study) has now become more popular since Donald Trump had repeatedly suggested the link while campaigning.
The mother left mediation Wednesday devastated. “Today was supposed to be a review on vaccinations,” Bredow said. “I wasn’t expecting to lose primary custody today of my son. I feel a bit spun around and in shock expecting him to come home today and I’m a little upset.”