Women in New Jersey can block a baby's father from the delivery room.
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.
"Any interest a father has before the child’s birth is subordinate to the mother’s interests," Mohammed wrote. "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."
The prenatal court battle played out in Passaic County last year and appears to have been the first of its kind in the nation, Mohammed wrote. Disputes between two unwed parents over who can be present at the child’s birth "have never been litigated in New Jersey or the United States," he wrote. according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.
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 that 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.