Detroit, MI — In a seemingly unprecedented violation of rights, a case out of Detroit, Michigan should worry even the most stringent pro-vaccine advocates. A mother has been sentenced to jail for failing to have her 9-year-old son vaccinated.
While the Free Thought Project has reported on instances of children being denied public services, like school, for not vaccinating their children, the idea that someone is now being thrown in jail for choosing to abstain from vaccination is chilling.
"I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don't believe in," said Rebecca Bredow last week when given the ultimatum—vaccinate your son or go to jail.
On Wednesday, she stood by those words and refused to back down. Judge Karen McDonald then told her she was in violation of the court order to vaccinate her son and she was sentenced to jail.
For refusing to go against her beliefs and vaccinate her son, Bredow will spend the next seven days in a cage.
As the Free Thought Project previously reported, Bredow did not fully abstain from all vaccinations. She is merely choosing to space them out, like lots of parents do.
As WXYZ reports, Rebecca believes in parents having the choice to make the right decision for their children based on the parent's knowledge of vaccines and the child.
Rebecca told 7 Action News that she and dad made the decision to space out and delay some of their little one's vaccines.
"It wasn’t until they started grouping them together that I backed off of doing vaccines," she says.
However, the father, who does not have custody of the children, changed his mind and now wants to vaccinate his children to the fullest extent. Bredow disagrees, but the court has shown that they couldn't care less about what she thinks—despite Michigan law allowing for vaccine exemption.
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Bredow says the court never cared to hear her side of the story, and despite her having custody of the children, the court automatically sided with the father who wants their son vaccinated.
While vaccinating your children is certainly the decision of both parents — the idea of one parent being kidnapped and thrown in a cage for not wanting to vaccinate is the very fabric of tyranny.
"Why automatically side with the father that wants the vaccines? What about my choice as a mother?" says Bredow — and she has a point.
Judge McDonald noted that the boy has two parents and "Dad gets a say." However, if the roles were reversed, would the father be in a cage right now?
If the court sided with Bredow instead of the father, would the father now be in jail if he vaccinated their child?
"I feel angry. I feel backed into a corner. I feel like my rights as a parent have been taken away," she said and now she is feeling the wrath of the state.
While there will likely be some folks cheering on the state in this situation, how you feel personally about vaccines should never lead to a loss of freedom. No person should be forced by government regulation or societal pressure to receive any medication or treatment, including vaccines, against his or her will.
Now, in the Land of the Free, the precedent has been set. Parents can and will be thrown in a cage for choosing to not to vaccinate their children.
"There is tremendous evidence showing vaccinations prevent childhood diseases. Should public health officials do everything they can to encourage, inform and facilitate childhood vaccinations? Yes. Do they have the right to force parents to vaccinate their children? Absolutely not.
In America we believe parents are capable of making their own decisions about their children’s health. We believe in freedom of choice. This freedom of choice extends to when — and even whether— parents vaccinate their kids."
-Jennifer Margulis, former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute at Brandeis University