To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate, that is the question.
Over the last decade, the number of parents opting out of vaccinating their children have been steadily on the rise. Some of these parents are under religious obligation to not vaccinate their children, while others cite safety concerns and autism as reasons to opt out.
One such parent is Rebecca Bredow, and she's even willing to go to jail as long as it means her son will remain vaccine-free.
"This is about choice," the mom told The Washington Post. "This is about having my choices as a mother to be able to make medical choices for my child."
In 2008, Bredow and her ex-husband, James Horne, made the decision to delay their son's vaccines for three months after he was born. Three months turned into two years, and now at nine years old, the child has never been immunized.
"I believe in the choice of the parent to make the right decision based on their knowledge of vaccines," Bredow said in another interview with WXYZ.
Everything seemed to have been working well until Bredow and Horne annulled their marriage, and their son became caught up in a nasty custody battle.
Somewhere along the way, Horne changed his mind about vaccines, and last November, an Oakland County court sided with him. A judge ordered Bredow to get the boy's vaccines up to date, but almost a year later, nothing has been done.
Now, the county judge has once again issued an order, but this time Bredow only has a few days to get her son the maximum amount of vaccines possible, which would be eight.
If Bredow fails to do so October 11, she could end up behind bars for violating the court's ruling.
“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.”
Bredow's case is a very complicated one because as a citizen of Michigan her son has a right to be exempted from vaccines on religious grounds.
"I can’t give in against my own religious belief,” she told The Washington Post.
In Michigan, parents can only be given waivers for non-medical purposes after they attend a mandatory educational session to learn about the benefits of vaccines. However, in this child's case, the father isn't consenting, therefore an exemption can no longer be granted.
"Why automatically side with the father that wants the vaccines? What about my choice as a mother?," Bredow told WXYZ.
“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,” said Benton G. Richardson, Horne's lawyer.
Bredow is now trying to figure out how to prevent her son from getting vaccinated without ending up in jail. If she does get locked up, it will be up to the court to decide how much time she will serve.
"I feel angry. I feel backed into a corner. I feel like my rights as a parent have been taken away," she added.
You can watch the WXYZ report in the video below:
Do you think Bredow deserves to go to jail or no?