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The Hypocrisy of Bristol Palin: Opinion

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Bristol Palin, daughter of former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, was most pregnant when her mother was running for office. She was 17 at the time, unmarried, with her then- boyfriend in tow (after the birth of their baby, they separated). In May, the Candie's Foundation, a group dedicated to preventing teen pregnancy through the promotion of abstinence education, appointed Bristol as its new teen ambassador.

WeNews commentator, Caroline Johnstoin Polisi, said, "No longer the dewy bride-to-be, now she's the do as I say, not do as I do voice of caution." Amen.

Bristol herself maintains that no matter what she did, she believes abstinence is the way to go. Sorry girl, but you're not exactly a role model, so quit the preaching. More than 750,000 teenagers will become pregnant in the U.S. this year, one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the developed world. In the meantime, American taxpayers have spent $1.5 billion on federal funding for abstinence-only education, between the years 1996 and 2008. Clearly taxpayers' money is being thrown down the drain.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union have fought this funding, stating that the abstinence programs are not scientific, but are ideological. Apart from her hypocrisy, Bristol Palin has seemingly become a pawn of those on the right. But then again, we must take into consideration that her mother is not exactly a beacon of liberal thought and enlightenment. The apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Add a Comment11 Comments

It's good to know that you and your boyfriend were wise and mature enough to realize that once you had decided to have sex, you were going to make sure that you did everything possible to avoid pregnancy, and that you would receive knowledge about sexual health. Good luck to you both.

July 19, 2009 - 2:15pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hey there,

I'm seventeen years old, and have been sexually active with my boyfriend for about a year. Most people are under the impression that all teenagers have no idea what they're doing when they start having sex, if that is the case I am certainly an exception to that rule!

My boyfriend and I discussed the issues of birth control, and what would happen in the event that I did get pregnant, and despite the fact that we were both virgins, we visited the sexual health clinic in our school before we started having sex. I was already on birth control to help control my anaemia (my periods are absolutely awful!), and while the nurse at the clinic said I was well protected with just that, we still use condoms just in case.

I realize that there are some more irresponsible teens who don't seem to care about the repercussions of unprotected sex, but I find that overall, an education system that teaches the ins and outs (pardon the pun) of birth control, and sexual health is a much more effective method with people in my age group that the religiously motivated abstinence movement.

Sure abstinence is a good thing, but when you're in love with someone and you're ready to share yourself with that person, it seems like a wiser idea to know ALL your options.

July 19, 2009 - 12:41pm

Dear Anonymous,
I write on reproductive issues, which have become part of the political arena, in case you were unaware of that. You will notice that the blog on Bristol Palin clearly states "Opinion," which means that you can either agree or disagree with my views. But you can't censor them.

July 9, 2009 - 9:57am
EmpowHER Guest

Please keep politics to yourself while writing the health topics.

July 9, 2009 - 8:36am

Dear Susan,
Thanks for your insights, which are always interesting to read.

July 8, 2009 - 1:13pm

Dear Anonymous (the first one),
Please read my blog about the American Medical Association's (AMA)report that finds that abstinence-only sex education does not result in decreased sexual activity among teens. The AMA recommends that "federal funding should be used to support sex education programs that include abstinence, condom use, and other contraceptive methods." I agree with this all inclusive program.

July 8, 2009 - 1:11pm
HERWriter Guide

Abstinence as "preventative medicine"?? I had never heard of this before but it's quite a correct concept!

I think Bristol has said that abstinence is a better option (maybe she feels that way now, more than ever!) but I know she has also stated that it's not very "realistic".

I'm in two minds about all this. Firstly, I don't subscribe to the "if they're gonna do it anyway..." mindset that has parents allowing their teens to have sex at home, drink at home...all with this logic of "if they're gonna do it anyway, I might as well be able to monitor things..." (monitor sexual activity?). That just doesn't work. Sex under 16 (in most states) is illegal, and so is drinking. This "if they're gonna do it anyway..." is dumbing down our kids and essentially saying they are all incapable of making rational and intelligent decisions so let's just put down a safety net for when they fall, and hope it catches them. Most times, it doesn't.

At the same time, I will also make sure my kids know about birth control and protection from disease. I think both are something that well- educated teens should know.

And while I'll inform them of the hell that herpes and other diseases are (and they are!), I also don't want them having a baby in a toilet stall and dumping it somewhere, too afraid to talk to me.

Bristol's biggest mistake was posing on the cover of a magazine, a graduation cap on her head and a baby in her arms. If her message is that "you too, can be me!" she's wrong. The fact is that most teen moms never graduate high school. This is the reality of life as a teen mom. Most teens don't have moms who are Governors and have the means to support a kid and grandkid. Bristol is the exception, not the rule. The sad rule is that a whopping 60% of kids under 18 who have a baby never graduate. And according to the March of Dimes "About 64 percent of children born to an unmarried teenage high-school dropout live in poverty, compared to 7 percent of children born to women over age 20 who are married and high school graduates. A child born to a teenage mother is 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade in school and is more likely to perform poorly on standardized tests and drop out before finishing high school."
This is the reality of teen pregnancy - not posing on People Magazine, complete with full makeup and a happy smile; wearing both a graduation gown and a baby.

I don't know where the happy medium is. I have three older toddlers and am still trying to work this whole parenting thing out! I wish there were easy answers. I don't want my kids having sex while in high school but I do know the "reality" too. I wish I had a magic wand to keep them safe forever!
I suppose the best I can do is educate them on all the options but I have to say I'll put strong importance on abstinence. And what other parents do is there own business. I don't want to ignore the statistics or realities of teen sex but I don't want my kid to end up as a statistic either.

If someone finds that magic wand that'll help me out here, hand it over!

July 8, 2009 - 12:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

Condoms, Birth control pills, the diaphragm etc are also preventative methods. Will you be helping your daughters make the choice to be vegetarian because of the health benefits? ANd the high pregnancy rate is due to the overall decline in responsibility that the youth faces... Like Bristol's family taking care of her child 22 hours a day. Hmm.

July 8, 2009 - 12:04pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Vegan diets have up sides and down sides. so no I won't be promoting that to my daughters as I believe they receive more health benefits from eating meat and dairy especially chicken and fish.

July 8, 2009 - 1:30pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Dear Anonymous,
I appreciate your comments. Check out my blog on the American Mecical Association's report on abstinence-only sex education.

July 8, 2009 - 1:15pm
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