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Judge Grants Unvaccinated Mother Shared Custody of Child, Reversing Earlier Decision

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A Chicago judge who stripped a mother of her parental rights over her refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine has backtracked after the case received national media attention and will allow the woman to see her son, according to a new report. 

Cook County Judge James Shapiro recently issued an order vacating portions of his August 11 order that kept Rebecca Firlit from seeing her eleven-year-old son unless she received a COVID-19 vaccine, Firlit’s attorney told FOX 32 Chicago on Monday.

Firlit, who had previously shared custody and parenting time with her ex-husband, had not seen her son since August 10 because of the judge’s earlier order.

The couple, who have been divorced for seven years, appeared in court via Zoom for a child-support hearing on August 10, when Shapiro reportedly asked the mother if she had been vaccinated. Firlit said she had not received the shot because she has had adverse reactions from other vaccines in the past.

Shapiro then reportedly ordered Firlit to be stripped of all parenting time with her son until she gets vaccinated. Firlit had only been allowed to speak to her son via phone and video calls. 

Now, Firlit may be able to see her son as soon as Wednesday.

Rebecca Firlit’s attorney, Annette Fernholz, told FOX 32 Chicago that she believes widespread media coverage of the case helped influence the judge’s decision to reverse his earlier decision.

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