PONTIAC (WWJ) – An Oakland County woman has been sentenced to seven days in jail after refusing to comply with an order to vaccinate her 9-year-old son.
The order was handed down in Oakland County Circuit Court Wednesday, at which time Judge Karen McDonald also announced that the boy would be vaccinated today.
In explaining her decision, McDonald pointed out that Rebecca Breedow of Ferndale, together with her attorney, signed an order in November, 2016, agreeing that the child would be vaccinated. McDonald said that there was never an appeal of that order, and that Breedow never asked to have the order set aside.
The court order stems from an earlier custody hearing where the boy’s father said he wanted the vaccinations for the child. Breedow told WWJ that she objected to grouping the shots together. [Get more details about the case].
Breedow’s husband, Gary Breedow, disagrees with the judge’s decision.
“I think it’s horrific; to me it’s a worst case scenario,” he said. “For a mother who has done and followed all of the state exemption laws, never had her voice truly heard in this court…I think it’s absolutely horrible.”
Michigan is one of 17 states that allows for medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions from vaccines.
Rebecca Breedow has said she believes McDonald was motivated by her own pro-vaccine beliefs; and her husband says they will appeal.
Tasha Shurgin was among protesters gathered outside the courthouse. How does she feel about the outcome?
“I don’t think that going to jail is ever good, but I think it’s important that people stand for what they believe,” she told WWJ’s Charlie Langton. “I don’t think she could life with herself; I know I couldn’t live with myself if I was forced to make a decision that goes against everything I believe in.”
The boy is now in the custody of his father.