A judge has just taken away a Chicago mother’s right to visit her child because she is unvaccinated, in yet another absurd example of COVID authoritarianism.
On Aug. 10, Cook County Judge James Shapiro enquired about Rebecca Firlit’s vaccination status during a child support hearing via video call with her ex-husband of seven years to determine the terms of shared custody of their 11-year-old son. After Firlit informed the judge she didn’t get the vaccine because she’d had bad responses to prior immunizations, he ordered her parental rights to visit her son be taken away until she was inoculated.
“I believe it is incorrect. I believe it is causing family strife. And I don’t believe it’s in my son’s best interests to be separated from his mother,” Firlit told WFLD, a local Fox affiliate.
Firlit hasn’t seen her son in person in over two weeks, despite talking to him on the phone and through video conversations, as per the judge’s order.
Her immunization status, she added, had “nothing to do with what we were talking about.” “He was imposing his beliefs on me and separating my son from me.”
But it wasn’t the father who brought up the vaccination status, it was the judge.
Annette Fernholz, Firlit’s attorney, stated that the matter was not within Shapiro’s jurisdiction.
“You must understand that the father did not even bring this matter to the attention of the court. So the court is on his own in deciding that you can’t visit your child until you’ve been vaccinated,” Fernholz explained.
Shapiro’s decision surprised Jeffrey Leving, who represents the boy’s father, but he said they were supportive.
“Some children have died as a result of COVID. “I believe that every child should be safe, and I agree that the mother should be vaccinated,” said Leving.
For the father to support the judge in this case, I can only assume there must be a lot of animosity between them.
Regardless, the judge should never have made this decision, and I hope they appeal and have it overturned.