A couple of days ago, I was listening to my local radio station in the morning at the bus stop with my kids. The DJs were talking about a news story out of New Jersey. Basically a New Jersey Judge ruled that a woman in New Jersey has a right to keep the father out of the delivery room when she’s giving birth. I was all, wait what? This is a law and a thing?
To me, it seems so clear cut. Of course it should be a woman’s medical right to decide who is in the delivery room with her. How is that even a law? I was even more shocked when I heard the FEMALE DJs response. She did not agree with the judge. Now I don’t know much about this DJ and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t yet have kids but I was surprised to think anyone, especially any woman, would think that a woman doesn’t have a right to delivery room privacy.
In the specific New Jersey case, it was an ex-fiancee who was asking to be in a delivery room and the woman not wanting him there. Who knows what the story is there but the bottom line is that birthing a baby, whether it’s vaginally or via c-section, is seriously mucky business that involves a lot of pain, pushing, blood and other bodily fluid goodies. There’s nakedness and you pretty much don’t get more exposed in a more raw and intense way than you do when giving birth.
In my opinion, the woman absolutely should be able to decide who is in there with her. Medical personal are needed for the safety of the mother and baby but beyond that? HER CHOICE.
Apparently I’m in the minority in my opinion. The story really sat with me so I Googled it today to read more about it and clicked on this story from CBS Philly. They have a poll at the end of the story which I took – 63% of responders said that the father should be allowed in the delivery room no matter what. The rest, that it’s a woman’s right to choose. I am still really shocked at this.
Of course I think it is ideal for Dad should be in the delivery room. Seeing your baby for the first time is an experience that is truly amazing for both parents. Not to mention that most women want the emotional support of the baby’s Dad. But I don’t care if it’s a one-night-stand Dad, an ex-boyfriend or a loving father, in that moment when a woman is delivering, it should be her choice regarding her own privacy END. OF. STORY.
I will note that I think the law went a bit too far in saying that the father doesn’t even have a right to be notified when the child is born. I cry BS on that. I do think the father has a right to know where and when. Dads are awesome and they should have a lot of rights when it comes to their children. But at the end of the day, the woman is the one on the table with all sorts of body parts exposed to the world and she alone should have a say in who gets to be a part of that moment.
What do you think? Are you with me in the minority or are you with the 63% of the rest of the world that thinks the Dad should be allowed in the delivery room regardless of the birth mother’s wishes?