Every week, one couple is lucky enough to get prime real estate in the Vows section, the New York Times‘ wedding announcement page, where their romance is told in a long story, and friends and family contribute adorable anecdotes. I’ve read about many a bride and groom (or bride and bride, or groom and groom), but this might be the first I’ve read where the couple talked about their abortion.
Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat and Faith Rein, who married in August, were candid about an unintended pregnancy during her junior year of college. The couple’s reasons for terminating that pregnancy are common among many couples: it was simply a terrible time to take on the big responsibility of a child. Both were still completing their educations, had little money, and he was already caring for a child from a previous relationship. Rein was a campus track star at University of Florida in Gainesville, where Haslem played basketball. And Haslem, a self-described “Miami ghetto kid,” already had a son, Kedonis, from “a high school fling” who he was struggling to financially support.
“I am not a huge fan of abortion, but we both had sports careers, plus we could not financially handle a baby,” Haslem told the Times. Rein added, “Udonis appreciated that I was willing to have an abortion,” Ms. Rein said. “I found him caring, supportive, nurturing and all over me to be sure I was O.K. I saw another side of him during that difficult time and fell deeply in love. He had a big heart and was the whole package.”
Like other couples who have an abortion, they went on to have more kids together at a time when they could actually care for them: their son Josiah was born in 2007 and then another son, Elijah, in 2010. I think it’s really commendable — bold, even — that the couple is so open about their past abortion, knowing that all their friends and family, not to mention Heat fans, will be reading it and possibly judging them. But to me, Haslem and Rein represent a real-world American couple who wanted to plan their family the way they thought was best. And the New York Times — not exactly known for being forward thinking, despite it’s “liberal” reputation — should be commended for openly discussing abortion in the pages of Vows.
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[Image of couple getting married via Shutterstock]