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Opinion

Public figure voices hypocritical opinion

Tracey Pollock

March 5, 2009

Bristol Palin, Gov. Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter, gave an interview a couple of weeks ago about her experience being a new mother, and taking the position of advocate for teen pregnancy prevention and a mother’s choice.

That’s right, an advocate for teen pregnancy prevention and choice. You may have seen this interview on YouTube or TV (if you haven’t it is still available). I watched the video on the Huffington Post in a joint report with Fox News and was as shocked with the content of the interview as with the collaboration of news organizations that made this story and video available.

Maybe you remember in Sarah Palin’s disastrous run for vice president on the McCain ticket, she was a strong advocate of abstinence only education and lifestyle for young people as well as an ardent anti-choice candidate.

Bristol began the interview with discussion of how difficult it is to be a new mother, yet how much she loves her son. She talks about how her son is the result of an unplanned pregnancy and that she wishes it would have happened at a later point in her life.

Bristol also made very clear that it was her CHOICE to keep her baby and that her mother’s pro-life stance had no impact on her decision. It was her decision, and it seemed that’s how she feels it should be.

Bristol discussed how she would like to be an advocate for teen pregnancy prevention.  She wanted to share her story to show the realities of being a teenage mother. She stated that she thinks that kids should just wait and it’s not glamorous at all. And after the interviewer asked her if she has a theological objection to contraception or if she is just lazy, Bristol said that abstinence is good but not realistic. She said that sex is more accepted by kids her age now.

The interview closed with Gov. Palin coming in with Trigg (Bristol’s son) and discussed briefly her reaction to the pregnancy, which is that “life happens.”

I thought this reaction was interesting for a huge proponent of the sanctity of life, and she was also able to sneak in that she doesn’t feel it’s the government’s role to help young mothers like Bristol, even if they don’t have the same support network their family is “blessed with.”

A reoccurring theme in the interview was how lucky Bristol and Trigg are that they have such a wonderful and supportive family. I think this story is very sweet and think it’s awesome that Sarah Palin’s daughter said that abstinence is not realistic. 

She also made the good point of how unprepared she was to become a mother and that it is imperative for a good family support network to raise her child. 
It makes me really sad to think of all the young people in her position that do not have this same great support network, and don’t understand how Gov. Palin (considering the circumstances) would still be opposed to government programs which help young mothers (like Bristol) to survive.

Tracey Pollock is an alumna of UW-River Falls.