A Chicago mother is now claiming that a judge stripped her of her parental rights simply because she had not taken the jab against COVID-19.
“In what all parties agree is a very unusual and perhaps unprecedented step, a judge at Chicago’s Daley Center has stripped Rebecca Firlit of custody because she refuses to get a vaccination shot,” WFLD-TV reported.
Ms. Firlit said that she has not seen her 11-year-old son since August 10th and that when she appeared with her ex-husband in a Zoom meeting for a child support hearing. It was during this hearing that Cook County Judge James Shapiro asked Firlit if she was vaccinated for COVID-19. She replied that no, she wasn’t vaccinated for COVID because she had suffered bad reactions to other vaccines in the past.
Judge Shapiro is a registered Democrat, and after he learned that Firlit was unvaccinated, he allegedly ordered her to be stripped of her parenting time until she became vaccinated.
Since the ruling, Firlit noted that she hasn’t seen her son at all for the past two weeks or more. She is allegedly only able to speak to him on her phone and on video calls.
“I miss my son more than anything,” Firlit told WFLD. “It’s been very difficult.”
“I think that it’s wrong. I think that it’s dividing families,” Firlit added. “And I think it’s not in my son’s best interest to be away from his mother.”
“It had nothing to do with what we were talking about. He was placing his views on me. And taking my son away from me,” Firlit continued.
Annette Fernholz has been working as Firlit’s attorney, and she feels that the judge overstepped his authority and noted that the boy’s father wasn’t even all that concerned about whether the mother was vaccinated or not during the hearing.
“In this case, you have a judge, without any matter before him regarding the parenting time with the child deciding, ‘Oh, you’re not vaccinated. You don’t get to see your child until you are vaccinated.’ That kind of exceeds his jurisdiction,” Fernholz told the outlet.
“You have to understand the father did not even bring this issue before the court,” Fernholz added. “So it’s the judge on his own and making this decision that you can’t see your child until you’re vaccinated.”
On the other side, we have Jeffrey Leving, who is representing the boy’s father, and he reportedly admitted that he was surprised by this decision from the judge, but he also admitted that he supports the ruling.
“There are children who have died because of COVID. I think every child should be safe,” Leving told WFLD. “So I agree that the mother should be vaccinated.”
Firlit has been divorced from her son’s father for seven years, and she is appealing the ruling. She has yet to receive word from the appellate court regarding their ruling.
Since the case is outgoing, a spokesman for Judge Shapiro said that they couldn’t provide comment regarding the status of the mother or the father.