A Michigan mother is behind bars for a week for defying a court order to get her son vaccinated.
Naturally, the case has captured the attention of anti-vaccination groups both in the state and around the country, all of whom feel that the judge shouldn’t be allowed to override the mother’s choice.
While the mother may see herself as a martyr for the anti-vaccination movement that has swept through various parts of the United States, her time behind bars is actually going to prove futile — and it could cost her big when it comes time to review the custody situation she had.
The anti-vaccination movement started over a now-discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. Despite the widely available information about the need for vaccinations, the urging of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies, the pleadings of health officials and numerous reputable doctors, those adherents of anti-vaccination movements are adamant — and some are clearly willing to defy the law.
The result of the movement has been the resurgence of diseases like measles and chicken pox, both of which were virtually eradicated in this country at one time.
In this situation, the mother promised the court that she would abide by its order to vaccinate the 9-year-old boy. She then promptly announced publicly that she wouldn’t do it — and didn’t.
As a result, the Family Court judge put her in jail and transferred temporary custody to her ex-husband immediately so that the child could get vaccinated.
The mother tried to claim that the child’s father once felt the same about vaccinations as she did and was only going along with the court order to gain the upper hand in their custody battle.
The judge wasn’t buying her story. He didn’t let her finish her speech, saying that the evidence showed just the opposite. While it remains to be seen what happens when the mother is released from jail, her refusal to abide by a lawful court order and her willingness to lie directly to court probably won’t help her in her custody battle in the future.
Cases like this illustrate what can happen when a parent doesn’t take the orders from Family Court seriously — treating them as optional rather than necessary. Don’t ruin your chances of gaining custody — an attorney can help you learn more about your legal options.
Source: CBSnews.com, “Detroit-area mom jailed for ignoring deal to vaccinate son,” Oct. 05, 2017