The first of its kind.
A mother in the US has been told by a judge that she is not allowed to see her son unless she gets the Covid vaccine.
Joining a court hearing via weblink with her ex-husband, Rebecca Firlit was under the impression that the topic of discussion would be child support.
Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, the first thing the judge asked her was whether or not she was vaccinated.
Explaining that she wasn’t as she had “adverse reactions to vaccines in the past” and her doctor advised against it, she said that it “poses a risk”.
Cook County Judge James Shapiro then made a very specific decision, one that the parents had never seen or heard of happening before.
The judge ordered that Rebecca was not to see her 11-year-old son until she had received the vaccine, as the child’s father has been fully vaccinated.
She is now appealing the judge’s decision, and her attorney has said that the ruling was an overreach.
“The father did not even bring this issue before the court,” attorney Annette Fernholz said. “So it’s the judge on his own and making this decision that you can’t see your child until you’re vaccinated.”
This ruling is thought to be the first of its kind in Chicago, unseen in court before now.
The couple has been divorced for seven years, with shared custody of their son since 2014, according to court records.
According to Rebecca’s lawyer, the hearing had nothing to do with their custody agreement and they did not think they would be asked if she was vaccinated.
While she made no indication that she would be getting the vaccine, she is still appealing as she believes the judge overstepped.