Pregnant Moms Can Ban Dads from Delivery Room, New Jersey Judge Says in Unprecedented Ruling
GTFO, Dad! That's basically what one New Jersey judge ruled, making it OK for pregnant women to bar their baby's father from the delivery room. The ruling, which the judge says is the first of its kind in the country, is centered on a woman's right to privacy. A father also doesn't have the right to know exactly when his child is being born, according to the judge.
The decision was published Monday regarding a case between Steven Plotnick and Rebecca DeLuccia, a couple who was engaged but later separated during their pregnancy. Judge Sohail Mohammed made his decision based on privacy rights. He also referred to the Supreme Court abortion cases of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which touch on a woman's right to make decisions concerning her pregnancy.
“What this man was seeking to do was really interfere with the woman’s ability to exercise her own choices about giving birth in privacy and that to me falls outside of the rights that a father is legitimately entitled to,” Mohammed ruled.
Plotnick and DeLuccia were barely on speaking terms during DeLuccia's pregnancy in 2013. Plotnick sued DeLuccia to find out where the baby was going to be born and to grant him access to the hospital. The Star-Ledger reports that even though a court hearing was scheduled for the same day that DeLuccia went into labor, she continued to argue via telephone from the delivery room during the hearing. Wow, that is some serious multitasking right there.
In what he deemed as the first such case of its kind in the U.S., the judge even said that a father really has no legal right to be present at his baby's birth.
"Any interest a father has before the child’s birth is subordinate to the mother’s interests. 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."
Last time I checked, this isn't the 1960s, when the dad went to the bar while the wife gave birth (Mad Men has taught me so much). It's safe to say that most caring fathers truly want to see their kid be born. While this type of ban is necessary in cases of domestic violence and rape, how can one judge limit a father's access to his child, especially when he's shown "deep and proper concern?"
DeLuccia's lawyer, Joanna Brick, was pleased with the decision. "Why should she expose herself in the most personal, intimate moment of her life?" Brick asked.
Well, the baby got there in the first place during a pretty intimate moment, right?