Signs of real social progress are often very subtle. They ought to be, by nature, since real progress is really a process of normalization. When same-sex marriage doesn’t merit the “same-sex” modifier, for instance, in most mainstream news publications, it’s a signal that most members of our society think beyond the man + woman = monogamous married couple for ever and ever paradigm. Or, when a wedding announcement in the New York Times openly discusses abortion as a difficult yet pragmatic decision a young couple made before they were financially and emotionally ready to have a kid, it’s a signal that a vast majority of Times readers (at the very least) recognize that having an abortion is a completely legitimate option.
On Friday, the Times announced the wedding of Faith Rein and Udonis Haslem, a power forward on the Miami Heat’s championship-nabbing team. After meeting at the University of Florida, Rein and Haslem endured the hardships that most young couples have to endure on their way to a lifetime of lazy weekends on a really comfortable couch in front of some really primo digital cable. They were trying, in other words, to shore up their financial future. Haslem wanted to play for the NBA, but, on his way to eventually achieving that goal, he and Rein almost took a detour deep into parenthood:
Their first challenge took place the following spring when she became pregnant. It was her junior and his senior year, and he had begun training for the N.B.A. draft. Despite the pregnancy, she was busy with track meets and helping him complete homework. The timing was bad.
“I am not a huge fan of abortion, but we both had sports careers, plus we could not financially handle a baby,” said Mr. Haslem, noting how he struggled with supporting Kedonis, the son he had in high school, who is now 14 and who lives with his mother.
“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.”
These are things that happen, both to couples and single women who just aren’t ready to sacrifice their futures to the altar of devoted parenthood. It’s just a thing that is, and the New York Times openly discussing abortion like this doesn’t make abortion seem like any more or less of a difficult, private decision. It simply shows that it is (or should be, depending on your state legislature and the current state of Planned Parenthood funding) a decision, to be considered or ignored or made or nearly made by people based on their own priorities and not some imaginary standard of adulthood imposed by a pious, anti-choice finger-waggers.
Taking Their Very Sweet Time [NY Times]
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