A New Jersey judge ruled that pregnant women are entitled to strong privacy protections. If they want the father banned from the delivery room, so be it.
The judge wrote
“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.”
This closed the chapter of a legal dispute that was argued on the day the woman gave birth. The mother and father had planned on marrying, but, they ultimately became estranged from one another. Their total communications consisted of a sporadic text message from one to another. (Of course, that also characterizes the total communications of some married couples.)
The dad, Steven Plotnick, sued to get Rebecca DeLuccia, to inform him of when she went into labor, and to grant him access to the baby at the hospital once born. Apparently some of the oral arguments took place via telephone conference from the delivery room. Oy.
The judge ruled for the mom.
“any mother is under immense physical and psychological pain during labor. … 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.”
Dad is not appealing because he was allowed to see the child in the hospital after birth.
In buttressing his ruling, the judge opined the New Jersey Supreme Court previously struck down a law requiring that minors notify their parents before they get abortions, ruling in 2000 that the law infringed on those minors’ privacy rights.
“In light of the court rulings,” the judge wrote, “it strains logic to ask a pregnant woman to notify the father when she goes into labor.”
In New Jersey, if Mom wants Dad out of the delivery room, out he goes.