A Chicago mother cannot visit her son because she refused to be immunized against the deadly disease on Aug. 10.
Cook County Judicial Circuit Court suspended Rebecca Firlit’s parental visiting rights because she was not vaccinated against COVID-19 (Chinese Communist Party virus).
During a child-support hearing via video call County Judge James Shapiro rejected the Firlit’s explanation that she previously experienced adverse reactions to inoculations He ruled her ex-husband of seven years should decide how often the woman sees her 11 year-old son, until she receives the jab.
The mother expressed frustration about the judicial system removing her freedom to make informed medical decisions.
“I think that it is wrong, dividing families, and not in my son’s best interest to be away from his mother,” she said according to Fox News-affiliate WFLD.
Firlit has not seen her son face-to-face for more than two weeks, and is only allowed to phone him or and hold video conversations according to the court order.
“It had nothing to do with what we were talking about,” she said of her vaccination status. “[The judge] was placing his views on me and taking my son away from me.”
Family law attorney Annette Fernholz, who is advising Firlit, accused the court of overstepping his authority.
“That kind of exceeds his jurisdiction,” Fernholz said according to The Blaze. “In this case you have a judge, without any matter before him regarding the parenting time with the child deciding, ‘Oh, you are not vaccinated [and] you do not get to see your child until you are vaccinated.'”
The boy’s father did not cite his ex-wife’s vaccination status during the hearing.
“You have to understand the father did not even bring this issue before the court,” Fernholz said according to the publication. “It is the judge on his own and making this decision that you cannot see your child until you are vaccinated.”
Family law attorney Jeffrey Leving, who is acting for the father, admitted he was startled by the court’s decision. He accepts the ruling is in his client’s best interests.
“There are children who have died because of COVID, I think every child should be safe,” he said according to WFLD. “I agree that the mother should be vaccinated.”
However, Firlit is not giving up and has already filed an appeal. The appellate court had still not set a date at the time of publication.
As students throughout the country prepare to return to in-person education in the fall, debates raged about appropriate safeguards to avoid transmitting the CCP virus. Some jurisdictions like New York imposed mask mandates in schools and vaccine requirements for educators. However, Florida and other states have outlawed such measures because they infringe on personal liberties.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows there were more than 38 million cases of COVID-19 across the nation. At least 52 percent of the population is fully vaccinated against the virus.