Rebecca Bredow, of the Detroit area, told ABC News that she would “absolutely” rather go to jail than vaccinate her son.
“I would rather go to jail for standing up for what I believe in than vaccinating my child,” Bredow said, adding she believes the decision to vaccinate your child is a “personal choice.”
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“I choose not to vaccinate, but that’s my choice,” she said. “I’m not against vaccines, it’s everybody’s personal choice.”
Bredow said that she and her then-husband, Jason Horne, had initially agreed to space out vaccinations for their young son. She and Horne separated in 2008, but she says he now wants their son to receive all of his vaccinations.
“Now I have four-and-a-half business days … to fully vaccinate, they want me to bring him up to the fullest extent medically allowed, which would be up to eight vaccines, in one dose,” Bredow said. “And this is supposed to be done before 9 a.m. on Wednesday.”
Bredow said that although she and her ex-husband share joint legal custody of her son, she is his primary caretaker.
“God forbid if he were to be injured by a vaccine,” Bredow said. “I would have to take care of him.”
The state of Michigan allows parents to opt-out of certain vaccines for non-medical reasons. The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, emphasizes the safety and importance of vaccines in a statement on their website.
“Vaccines have been part of the fabric of our society for decades and are the most significant medical innovation of our time,” the group said. “Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives.”
Benton G. Richardson, a lawyer for Bredow’s ex-husband, told ABC News that “this case is not truly about vaccinations.”
Richardson added that Bredow and Horne have been embroiled in an ongoing legal battle, and a court sided with Horne in November of 2016, ordering Bredow to vaccinate her son.
Court documents obtained by ABC News state that a court first asked Bredow to get immunizations for her son in November 2016, but state that as of September 2017 the child had not been vaccinated.
“It is our position that this case is not truly about vaccinations,” Richardson said. “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.”