The decision for a couple to have a child should be just that: a mutual decision. Within a marriage, that decision should ideally take place with both partners on the same page about starting a family and on the same page about stopping the use of any sort of contraceptive that may get in the way of the whole "starting a family" process. That's why Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder apologized for their birth control story, which has recently been getting a lot of flack in the news lately.
Basically, in an interview for a podcast called Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy, Reed had a pretty alarming response to a question asking when she and her husband knew they were ready to have kids. She stated, "When [Somerhalder] threw out all my birth control pills." Yeah. Concerning.
The incident allegedly took place during a trip to Barcelona in 2016 when, after a few drinks, the couple (read: Somerhalder) decided to have a baby. As his way of telling his wife he was ready, Somerhalder literally took Reed's birth control packet out and popped out all the pills. He explained:
We decided that we wanted to have children together, and it was just time. But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn't realize that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control. By the way, it was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out. There was like 25 of them. It is a lot of work, especially after a little bit of sangria.
Needless to say, the thought of him "[popping] those suckers out" without his wife's knowledge is pretty concerning. To make matters worse, he followed this up with filming her frantically looking for her pills and then him flushing them down the toilet in front of her. Haha?
Loads of people have been totally shocked by the frankly appalling story and have been voicing their concern across the internet about how this relates to reproductive coercion.
Finally, just this morning, Nikki Reed spoke out about the backlash by tweeting a statement on behalf of her and her husband, apologizing for those who have "been affected by reproductive coercion" and explaining that the whole thing was taken out of context by the media. She wrote:
To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry. That is an extremely serious issue, and women's rights is something that is incredibly important to both of us. It is something we've been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts. We never expected a lighthearted interview we did poking fun at EACH OTHER and how WE chose together to get pregnant, a goofy moment in Barcelona with our two best friends and the anticipation of the start of our journey together as we went from two to three, to turn into something representing a very serious matter. However, if this somehow sheds light on a topic that definitely needs mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence. It's a shame that outlets chose this as their way into a very serious discussion, as we are certainly not qualified to be the faces of the topic. We are two happily married people who chose TOGETHER to have a baby. The end. Love, Nikki and Ian
If I'm being honest, I'm usually a bit skeptical of apologetic celebrity statements, but this one seems genuine. It does seem as though their decision to have a child was one that was equally made between the two of them and that she is deeply saddened by the fact that the story has been misinterpreted. I also appreciate the fact that they realize what a serious issue reproductive coercion really is and that they admit they are happy to have opened up the discussion for it.
That being said, reproductive coercion is still a very real type of abuse, and it's important to shed light on it. Do you have any experiences with it? Do you have any thoughts on the matter? Comment your thoughts and feelings below.
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