Rebecca Firlit: Judge strips mother of parental rights for refusing vaccination

Rebecca Firlit: Judge strips mother of parental rights for refusing vaccination
Cook County Judge James Shapiro ruled against Rebecca Firlit (R) during a child support hearing (Photo by Morsa Images/Getty Images, Fox 32)

A Democrat judge has sparked widespread concern after reportedly stripping a Chicago mother of her parental rights earlier this month because she refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine due to medical concerns.

Cook County Judge James Shapiro, who is a Democrat per BizPacReview, made the unprecedented ruling against Rebecca Firlit during a virtual child support hearing with her ex-husband on August 10. According to local station WFLD, the judge issued the ruling without any nudging from Firlit's ex-husband.


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“You have to understand the father did not even bring this issue before the court. So it’s the judge on his own and making this decision that you can’t see your child until you’re vaccinated,” Firlit's attorney, Annette Fernholz told WFLD.

The embattled mother said the judge brought up her vaccination status out of the blue. When she revealed that she hadn't taken the jab due to previous bad reactions to vaccines, Judge Shapiro immediately stripped her of all her parental rights, ruling that she would have to take the vaccine if she wanted them back. Firlit, as a result, hasn't seen her 11-year-old son in weeks.

“I miss my son more than anything. It’s been very difficult. I haven’t seen him since August 10th,” she told WFLD. “I think that it’s wrong. I think that it’s dividing families. 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,” she added.

The grieving mother is reportedly appealing the order, and her lawyer Fernholz is confident that she'll win the case. “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,” she said.



Firlit's ex-husband, who wished to remain anonymous, and his attorney Jeffrey Leving, said they were stunned by the ruling but agreed with it. “There are children who have died because of COVID. I think every child should be safe. And I agree that the mother should be vaccinated,” Leving told the station.

On the other hand, several prominent figures on social media spoke out against Shapiro's ruling.

“This is child abuse in my opinion. The mother’s vaccination status wasn’t even before the judge, yet he used it to deny her the right to see her child. Even the CDC director has now acknowledged the vaccines do not prevent spread of SARS-CoV2,” the congressman tweeted Saturday morning.

"Here in Chicago, a mother loses her parental rights because she is unvaccinated. She has a history of bad reactions to vaccines. Judge shows no mercy. We’ve reached a new low as a society," Mark Vargas wrote.

"A mother loses custody of her child because the judge decided she is “unfit” until she gets vaxxed??? The Mom, Rebecca Firlit, told the judge she had bad reactions to vaccines in the past. And the judge said she can’t see her child?" Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene added.

"That judge needs to go on trial for kidnapping, false imprisonment, and violating her civil rights," one Twitter user wrote.

"A Chicago woman has been stripped of her parental visiting rights over refusing to take the covid19 injection. Rebecca Firlit says she doesn't want to take the shot because she has had bad reactions to vaccines in the past. How far will this go?" another chimed in.










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