I’m sympathetic to men who want to witness the birth of their children; I get it. You made this human and you have every right to be there, in theory. But this week, a New Jersey judge has ruled that women can keep biological fathers out of the delivery room. Although I understand the frustration that fathers who may be kept from the delivery room would feel – I am behind this decision 100-percent. Why? Because the health of the mother and baby is more important than a father feeling left out. Also, because it’s her body and she has every right to make medical decisions – including who is around her when she delivers.
NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reports that the ruling involves a couple who got engaged after the woman became pregnant but later broke up. The man sued for the right to be present at the birth of his child. Jennifer filed this report for our Newscast unit:
“The judge ruled that requiring the father’s presence would pose ‘unwarranted strain’ on the mother.
“He cited a patient’s right to privacy and a pregnant woman’s right to control her body. The ruling says women also are not obligated to inform a father when
they’re going into labor.
The only thing that a woman in labor needs to be thinking about is delivering her child safely. Some fathers may feel that women can maliciously keep them out of delivery rooms. Maybe they are right. I don’t care. Whatever bullshit that is going on between a couple (or not) having a child should take a backseat to the mother being in the least amount of stress as possible while she is delivering a baby. A father that would blatantly deny the safety of his child (stress + labor do not mix) for his own self interest is not thinking about his child first. The fact that a woman would need to turn to the law to keep a man out of the delivery room proves that him being there would not be in the best interest of a smooth delivery.
To blatantly disregard that stress can negatively affect the outcome of a birth is ridiculous. It may seem unfair, but pregnancy still happens inside a woman’s body. Therefore, she has every right to make medical decisions – including deciding who will be present for medical procedures. Once the baby exits the womb, a father is entitled to equal rights as far as I’m concerned. But while the baby is still in it – sorry. Her body her choice.