So much for abstinence

| Sarah Palin's campaign released a statement today acknowledging that the Palin's daughter Bristol is pregnant and asked the "media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy."

Palin family
The Palin family: (back, L-R) Track, Sarah, Todd; (front, L-R) Willow, Piper, Bristol

The statement was deliberately vague:

Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.

Barack Obama subsequently commented, "This shouldn't be part of our politics, it has no relevance to Governor Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president, and so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories" (

I agree wholeheartedly that the daughter should be left out of it.

Until, that is, the first time the Republicans open their mouths trying to tell everybody else how to live their lives — braying about family values; claiming it is immoral to fund family planning and contraception; restricting sex education to "abstinence-only"; railing about how no one should ever, ever have an abortion or even take the morning-after pill.

One can't help but wonder when the beautiful Bristol shared this news. Was it before, or after, John McCain had selected Palin as his running mate? If it was before, why on earth did Palin accept, knowing what was sure to come and all that her daughter would be exposed to? Some mother!

One can't help but wonder what kind of sex education was provided in Bristol's family and school. Were condoms freely available in her high school? I believe I've read that Mrs Palin is an advocate of abstinence-only sex education. Has the experience of her daughter changed her opinion?

And bright wordsmiths can surely figure out how to do it without explicitly talking about people who live in glass igloos.

It would be perfectly fair to talk about a reality-based — non-ideological — approach to reducing abortions and unwanted, unplanned children through comprehensive sex education and by making contraception available to those capable of reproducing. The crisis in unwed, teenage mothers should be fair game. One wouldn't even have to say, "If condoms had been available in Wasilla, Bristol Palin might not be pregnant and think she has to marry the guy."

John McCain's judgment is very much in question after making what is an obviously poorly vetted choice, loud protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. He can repeat 'til the cows come home that she is "the best-qualified" candidate, but no amount of repetition will make it so.

Palin is sure to come under much closer scrutiny now than she ever has before. The question is, will the mainstream media call her out on such things as the big fib she included in her maiden speech as a nominee or will they give her a pass because the press is still John McCain's "base" (he said it, I didn't). She's being touted as a fighter of earmark spending and claimed, "I told Congress ... 'thanks, but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said we'd build it ourselves."

But as the Telegraph points out, Palin reluctantly cancelled the project after Congress withdrew funding: "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island."

The McCain camp claims they thoroughly vetted Mrs Palin. Yeah, right!

Signe Wilkinson

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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