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Palin and teenage pregnancy and…everything else

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:17am

This weekend, John McCain announced that his running mate would be Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska. It seems there has been little talk of anything else since that announcement…particularly since the announcement that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is 5 months pregnant.

There has been much written on the topic since the announcement, while I was away attending to family and holiday events. So rather than adding to the general clamor, I’m going to hook you up with what I consider the best of what’s already been said.

First, of course, is the New York Times story. But here’s the gist: Sarah Palin’s 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is 5 months pregnant, plans to have the baby and marry her Baby Daddy, Levi. Everyone says everyone knew about the pregnancy before McCain announced Palin as his running mate. The McCain/Palin campaign is saying that Bristol’s pregnancy is a private familiy matter, and should be off-limits to the media. (A futile request, frankly.) Obama agrees it is a family matter, and is treating the matter with discretion.

Now on to the conversation and analysis of the Palin’s VP nomination and how that relates to Bristol’s pregnancy:

Rev. Debra Haffner speaks to the importance of conversation about sexual options. Among her points is this one: “The research, as I’ve written about in my books for parents (see the list to the right), is quite clear. In homes where parents talk openly about sexuality with their children, including their values about premarital sex, contraception and STD prevention, their children are more likely to delay sexual activity and more likely to protect themselves if they do have sex. Perhaps Gov. Palin should reconsider her positions on teenage pregnancy prevention.”

RH Reality Check speaks well, as always, to the problems inherent to the Republican-supported abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that leave teenagers uneducated about how to prevent pregnancy and STDs and without places or people to ask real questions about sexuality.

The American Prospect talks about the political issue of women’s choice, Sarah Palin’s position on abortion, and how these political issues makes Bristol’s pregnancy something worth talking about in the public sphere - as different from the standard candidates’ children’s bungles. And here’s another post from RH Reality Check about Palin’s political views on abortion and her affiliation with “ Feminists for Life.”

Now, I feel strongly that abortion must be safe and accessible. I feel strongly that comprehensive sexuality education is an inherent right that every young person in our country must have access to. However, I also want to point out that there is much, much more to Sarah Palin than just her stances on these issues (however much we disagree on these issues). To find out more about Sarah Palin, check out Palinland and More from Palinland. These are interesting and informative posts via Lawyers, Guns and Money. And here is another general, and much more chatty, post on Palin from Bitch, Ph.D.

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