Vaccinate your child. Or go to jail.

That’s the message a US judge has just sent to Detroit mother Rebecca Bredow. An anti-vax advocate, the 40-year-old is preparing to swap her mum jeans for prison sweats after defying a court order to vaccinate her son.

The mother-of-two was sentenced to a week behind bars after disobeying court orders and not vaccinating her nine-year-old son, claiming it goes against her beliefs.

Before being escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs, the mum told the court, “I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in”.

No jab, yes jail time

The problem for Rebecca is that she signed a court order with ex-husband James Horne in November 2016 agreeing to vaccinate her son. But when Rebecca recently refused to go through with the vaccinations, her ex-husband took legal action.

Judge Karen McDonald gave Rebecca one week to comply with the agreement and have her son vaccinated. But the mum stood her ground, claiming she was an “educated vaccine choice mother” and refusing to obey the orders.

“What you’re saying, it’s just not true,” Judge McDonald tells the mother, before explaining that this isn’t the first time the mum has disobeyed the agreement put in place with her ex-husband.

“I understand you love your children. But what I don’t think you understand is that your children have two parents. And dad gets a say.”

Mother (doesn’t always) know best

mum sent to jail for not vaccinating her child Rebecca McDonald

“It’s clear to me that you don’t care about orders, even if you agree to them. You repeatedly stated over the past several days publicly that you will not follow this court order. So I’m sentencing you to seven days in jail,” the judge told Ms McDonald, who was led from the court in handcuffs.

Judge McDonald also ordered the boy to remain with his father until “all vaccinations are up to date”.

For more information on vaccinations in Australia, including the No Jab, No Pay law, check out our Health Updates.


Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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