A Miami Heat player recently offered a candid description of his and his wife's struggle with an unplanned pregnancy at a young age, and their regrettable decision to abort the baby, in their wedding announcement in the New York Times.
Udonis Haslem, currently a member of the NBA for the Miami Heat, and his college sweetheart of 14 years, Faith Rein, wed in Palm Beach, Fla. on August 24. The New York Times published a wedding announcement following the couple's nuptials, in which the two describe their difficult decision to have an abortion while they were studying at the University of Florida back in the early 2000's.
"I am not a huge fan of abortion, but we both had sports careers, plus we could not financially handle a baby," Haslem, who plays on the Miami Heat with Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, told the NY Times' Sunday edition. Haslem also noted that at the time of this unexpected pregnancy, he was financially supporting his child from a "high school fling," who is now 14-years-old and lives with his mother.
"Udonis appreciated that I was willing to have an abortion," Rein, who excelled as a track star at the University of Florida and later pursued a career in sports broadcasting, told the NY Times. "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."
Haslem's recent comments have received mixed reactions from readers and bloggers, with some, such as the self-described feminist blog Jezebel, hailing the announcement for its openness, and others, including the Philadelphia Daily News, suggesting that perhaps Haslem divulged too much of his personal life to the public, and that doing so through the NY Times wedding announcements section was inappropriate.
Rein and Haslem met at the University of Florida, where they both began studying in 1999. While Haslem came from a rough area of Miami, Rein was raised in the Virginia suburbs to a well-to-do family, and the couple told the NY Times of how they were attracted to each other's opposite backgrounds. The couple endured years of long-distance communication as Haslem pursued his NBA career and Rein moved to New York City to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.
In 2007 and 2010, the couple had two sons, Josiah and Elijah. Then, after returning from a romantic vacation in Italy in 2012, Haslem asked Rein to marry him after receiving permission from Rein's father. The couple held their nuptials at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in Florida. In addition to James and Wade, the event was attended by Miami Heat president Pat Riley, head coach Erik Spoelstra, and the rapper Flo Rida.
Other celebrities and athletes have also spoken out in regards to abortion. NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, singer Justin Bieber, actor Martin Sheen, and singer Kenney Chesney have all expressed their support for the pro-life movement, whereas actor Mark Ruffalo recently wrote a public letter expressing his stance in keeping abortion legal and available to women in the U.S.