A delivery room ruling by a New Jersey judge has just laid precedent on the most intimate of moments shared between a mother and a, well, no one. “No dads allowed,” was the gist of Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed's ruling, which effectively bans fathers from the delivery room if mom doesn’t want him there.
According to NJ.com on March 12, the "landmark decision" means "a woman in labor has the right to keep the child's father out of the delivery room during the baby's birth."
“Any interest a father has before the child’s birth is subordinate to the mother’s interests,” the New Jersey judge wrote in the milestone case. “Even when there is no doubt that a father has shown deep and proper concern and interest in the growth and development of the fetus, the mother is the one who must carry it to term.”
The ruling is the first of its kind, and is seen as a victory for pregnant women, who are considered medical patients, and should be entitled to the same robust privacy protections that an ailing person in the hospital has.
The ruling stems from a case filed last year by Steven Plotnick, who sued his estranged ex-fiancée Rebecca DeLuccia for the right to be informed when she goes into labor and to instantly see his son or daughter upon their birth.
In his ruling, Mohammed said it was “laudable” that Plotnick wanted to be involved in the birth of his child, considering so many fathers do not, but ultimately sided with DeLuccia. His presence could put unneeded stress on the mother, who has the right to refuse any visitor from being in the room, even the biological father.
When handing down the decision, the judge referenced Roe vs. Wade — which determined a woman has a right to control her body during pregnancy, including her right to an abortion — and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey — which struck down a previous ruling that said a woman had to notify her partner of her plans to get an abortion.
“Any mother is under immense physical and psychological pain during labor,” Mohammed wrote. “The order the father seeks would invade her sphere of privacy and force the mother to provide details of her medical condition to a person she does not desire to share that information with.”
What do you think? Should a women have the legal right to keep the father out of the delivery room under all circumstances? Leave your comments below.