NJ judge rules moms don't have to let dads in delivery room for baby's birth

March 13, 2014 (TRENTON, N.J.)

A state judge, citing a woman's right to privacy, ruled that mothers can decide who will be with them when giving birth.

In an opinion released Monday, the judge cited privacy rights outlined in two federal abortion cases.

The case was argued over the telephone last year in Passaic County while Rebecca DeLuccia went into labor and delivered a girl. Her estranged fiance, Steven Plotnick, wanted access to the baby at birth.

Plotnick's attorney, Laura Nunnink, tells The Star-Ledger of Newark it was important to her client to bond with the baby.

DeLuccia's lawyer, Joanna Brick, says DeLuccia allowed Plotnick to visit, and his lawyer says he saw the child.

"His main concern was seeing his daughter when she was born," Nunnink said.

But the judge went one step further, noting the mother is not required to tell the father she's going into labor either.

"This case clearly applies to unmarried couples," Nunnink said. "How it extends to married couples I don't know yet."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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