Monday, September 1, 2008

Poor Bristol

Proof that abstinence education doesn't always work.

Time to rethink that strategy.

25 comments:

Mitch said...

I came here just to post on this very thing! Scandalous? Yes. But does it make a difference in the election? I'm truly curious. After all, 17 year old have sex. Especially in Alaska. Its cold ;)

Renee said...

You know what would be really refreshing? I'd love to hear from a sensible Republican who could actually utter these words: "I am a Republican. I agree with the Republican party platform and most of their issues. I will vote for the Republican candidate this year. I acknowledge that McCain could have picked someone as his VP who is more prepared to run this country in the event of his passing. But I support my party and will vote for McCain." Wouldn't that be nice? Everyone is so defensive about Palin and is grasping at straws trying to turn her into Mrs. Relevant Experience, and it's just not there. That's okay, both parties have shown that it's not about who is the most experienced, right? I'm voting Democrat this year (I'm independent) but I am happy to admit that of all the people who started running for the Democratic ticket, Obama was not the most experienced or the most ready to run the country, in my humble opinion. However, he is now the Democratic candidate, and I'm voting Democrat this year. I'm tired of the Republican agenda and I want some change. I don't think the Democrats are going to save the world or anything, I'm just ready to move far away from the way the Repubs do things. Let's try something new, ykwim? Let's vote on issues, not on people. It's not about comparing McCain as a person to Obama as a person. It's not about age or race or gender or even experience, for me anyway. It's about the party platform and the issues, and what each candidate is going to try to do if they get elected. That's my opinion anyway.

-The Renee

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt that providing this child with sex education would have prevented her pregnancy. Children raised by social liberals who talk openly about sex and provide birth control for their children also find themselves in similiar situations -- when just never hear about it becuase they abort those babies. I admire the courage of this family....how many others would be willing to air their dirty laundry for the entire world to see?? That takes some serious courage.

Ashley said...

LOTS of people have those babies and don't abort them, that's the most ignorant argument I've heard yet and this isn't the first I've heard it.

I do not get applauding these two women for not aborting their babies, that almost insinuates that all babies with Down Syndrome or born to teen mothers are shameful enough to "deserve" it by making it such a big deal that it wasn't done by these two saints.

They really didn't have a choice but to come out with this scandal, you have to air your family's dirty laundry if you're up for 2nd in position for leader of the free world. A position I wouldn't go for when my family needed me so badly right now, but those are my own family values.

Some "use a condom" talk wouldn't have hurt this kid, that's for sure.

Maddnessofme said...

My little sister has Downs and our family just doesn't get this bullshit that Palin should be applauded for not having an abortion. What kind of psycho aborts a baby because it has Downs? Oh, I see... I guess they are saying all Liberals abort their Downs babies. First of all, that is not true. There are not hoards of Liberals aborting their Downs babies... somebody needs to show me those facts. Stop shooting this stuff out your ass.

I worked in a counseling center for 6 months for college credits. All day long I saw "Conservative" parents bringing their daughters in for abortions because they had sex with a black man, and oops. They were more worried about keeping it "private" than they were about their daughter's feelings.

How many more ways are people going to twist it to make it appear that the Palin nomination is more than a joke? A joke that could very possibly end up as President. McCain is 72 and he has had cancer, come on people. Anything can happen and it is irresponsible to put a hockey mom in that position.

Period. End of story.

Melodie said...

I think that everyone making such a big deal about this is ridiculous. Seventeen-year-olds get pregnant, whether or not they have been told to use condoms. Also, they are not 100% effective, so how do you know that she wasn't practicing safe sex?

That being said, this doesn't have any bearing on Sarah Palin's ability to campaign and serve as the Vice President of our country. Neither does having a child with Down Syndrome.

There is no reason that Palin should have to drop out as the VP candidate to "be there for her family." That's like saying that working moms aren't being there for their families.

And why is everyone saying that Palin has failed at "running her family" because her daughter got pregnant? First of all, Palin has a husband who is just as much a parent in that family as she is. Secondly, kids are going to do what they want despite what their parents have tried to teach them. Did none of you ever rebel against your parents?

And I don't think that anyone is claiming that Palin and her daughter are saints for not having abortions. They are just using their situations as examples of situations where abortion is an acceptable option, but they don't believe in murdering their unborn children to make things easier for themselves.

That being said, none of this has any bearing on my opinion of Sarah Palin or on my vote for President. And I don't think it should have any bearing on other people's votes, either.

Ashley said...

If she backs off on abstinence only education, it wouldn't bear on her ability. But if she's going to make choices for the rest of the country that didn't work for her in her own home, that's a problem with me. It gets me that conservatives are all "hands off, don't you talk to my kids about biology" but want to be hands on when it comes to how individuals choose to deal with what happens when kids don't get the proper sex education or simply don't practice it.

I (used to) highly respect John Edwards, but wouldn't have approved of him leaving his family while his wife had cancer to run our country, I feel the same way about Palin.

She could be Mother Theresa herself and I wouldn't vote for her because we don't agree on the things that are most important to me. I feel she is pro-war, anti-environment, pro-oil/big business and anti-choice and those are my concerns this election. Her knocked up daughter has nothing to do with my decision, it's just interesting to see whether or not she'll act like a hypocrite in regards to what happens next.

Ashley said...

Oh and as far as birth control not being effective, the entire 2% of the population that it isn't effective for already exists on the bargain board. I'd bet A LOT that if used effectively (or at all) this kid wouldn't be pregnant right now.

Joy said...

I am pretty sure my parents did not want me to have sex before I was married, and yes I knew what could happen seeing my sister had a baby during high school. But still I did it, didn't make my parents bad just meant I made my own decisions at the ripe ol age of 17.

Do I regret having sex before being married? No. Does this mean I will be a bad mom because when my kids ask me I will not lie. I will tell them the truth and try to teach them right but I also know teenagers think they know it all and all I can do is be there for them and try to help them make the right decisions.

MzLiz said...

I don't like Palin's or McCain's stances on the issues--environment, Iraq, sex education etc.--, so I wouldn't vote for McCain no matter who is his running mate. But I think he made a poor choice--which is good because I'm an Obama supporter.
I know that teenagers get pregnant -- it happened in my family growing up, so I know the consequences. While I find it ironic that Palin is a fan of "abstinence only" education and that her daughter is pregnant--I don't think that issue ALONE should disqualify her (other issues, yes) I have been a sahm and a working mom and think that it's a personal choice. What I really wonder about is why any parent would make a choice that would subject his/her child to the kind of media scrutiny that this child will be and has been subjected to? I mean really... why?

Me said...

Yes, teens will do what they will do no matter how many sex ed classes you run past them or how many condoms you give them. They screw up.

But what I don't understand is how somebody with a Downs baby thinks they have time to be VP (and possibly President). Then throw a pregnant teen daughter in the mix... it boggles my mind. Speaking from experience, having a Downs baby takes up a good deal of your brain and time. In my opinion, it's not right to hire that out. It would also be more important to me to be present for my daughter if she were 17 and pregnant.

That, to me, is a big deal. I could care less how many condoms she did or didn't give her daughter before she got pregnant. She just looks to me like somebody who is turning there back on family for something she has no clue about. Those aren't values I agree with.

Her Downs baby is just a baby. She doesn't know yet how high or low functioning a person it will turn into. It could very well be low functioning and take a ton of commitment... commitment she had when she decided to see the pregnancy to the end. The baby has a greater chance at being higher functioning with a mother who is committed and there for everything.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Joy,
If it's not too personal a question, were you able to aviod pregnancy? I'm just asking since your sister did get pregnant, did that make you realize the severity of the consequences of sex? I think that's the biggest problem with teenagers-they simply don't realize what the consequences may be. I, too, had sex as a teenager but never got pregnant. Not because I was "lucky" but because I was able to figure out that I could get pregnant so I better do something about THAT. I also think that "abstinence only" is the biggest joke around. I mean, c'mon, do these people not remember what it's like to be 17?! Who do they think they are kidding? Have you seen the pictures that have now surfaced of Bristol Palin partying and drinking? NOW what are they going to say?

Ashley said...

Coco, they're going to say "Who cares what the daughter does? When I was 17 I partied and had sex and it had nothing to do with my parents" and then remind us what martyrs these two are to give birth in unfortunate circumstances.

I particularly love this "who cares" sentiment because if it was Obama they would be raking his ass over the coals and praying for his soul while they danced on his political grave.

Stella said...

Hmmm..I think you would also need to know how many births did not happen due to abstinence education in order to better measure its effectiveness. But if you want to badger a young girl for a mistake just because you don't like her mother's politics (and write off an entire outreach program because of one mistake just because you're, apparently, pro-choice), by all means, it's your blog.

Ashley said...

I also love the move of insisting on people proving things that aren't quantifiable. It would be impossible to measure the success of abstinence education by how many kids didn't get pregnant...maybe they used protection? Maybe they couldn't get lucky but would've if they could've?

It's much like the "prove Trig ISN'T Sarah's" (before that mystery was cleared up), why don't you prove that he is? Isn't that easier and more reasonable to take on?

Ashley said...

Oh and regardless of my stance on abortion, I have no problem with sex education in schools and wouldn't no matter what. I'm willing to let my kids be exposed to a biology teacher discussing the merits of using a condom to prevent pregnancy and disease, in order to cover for the kids whose parents won't be teaching it at home. Combined with what I plan on teaching my kids, it will do nothing but compound upon the message I plan on instilling.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

I think the whole point is pro-CHOICE. Abstinence only obviously is not working. If it did, there wouldn't be any pregnant teenage girls. If I want to raise my children with the concept that they should wait until marriage before having sex, that's my choice. I would also like to raise my kids to put off marriage until AT LEAST their mid 20's but then again, that's also my choice. Is it reasonable then to expect my kids not to have sex until they're 28? I think adults need to be a bit more pragmatic and realize that there will be teenagers who do have sex and when they do they need to do it RESPONSIBLY. Actually, that needs to apply to everyone, not just teenagers.

Me said...

Maybe people are making such a big deal out of it because it's a reminder that both McCain and Palin are BENT on overturning Rowe vs. Wade with 3 liberal justices due to retire soon.

That is a scary. I don't want government in my uterus.

jenrose said...

I am not a mother, but if I were I'd never do what she is doing to her daughter. How much is Bristol suffering from being pregnant and forced into motherhood/marriage at 17? I can tell you from personal experience 26 years ago at age 18 - she's suffering big time. Although I fortunate enough to have had a CHOICE -- and I rightly chose (abortion) to prevent destroying my life and the baby's.

Mothers are supposed to protect their children (includes keeping their mental health) and if Palin is doing this to her own daughter, what makes anyone think that she'd be more sensitive about doing what's right for the United States....

which leads me to her 4-month old with Down's Syndrome.

What kind of monster parades her newborn in public like that? Even Hollywood stars keep their newborns under wraps. I thought babies that aren't yet fully immunized shouldn't be attending such large events -- MUCH LESS an immune-compromized infant with Down's Syndrome.

Isn't it common for Down Syndrome children to have challenged immune systems?

This woman is an cruel and selfish idiot. I don't know how else to describe her.

Renee said...

I read today that Bristol Palin has been living with her aunt back in the small town where Sarah was mayor, and the rest of the family was living with Sarah in the Big City. I have heard of kids staying behind to finish up high school after the rest of the family moves away; I know they are not unique in doing this. But I would not do it, I would want to keep a closer eye on my 16/17-year-old daughter than that.

Does Mr. Palin work full-time, or is he a full-time dad now that his wife has a demanding job? I haven't read much about him yet.

-The Renee

Renee said...

Oops - correction to that last post. Apparently Bristol lived with her aunt in Anchorage, and the Palin family was still in the small town of Wasilla. I got it backwards. :)

-The Renee

Lauren said...

I have mixed feelings about this entire election. Here are just a few of my thoughts.

1. Yes, Palin has a child with downs. But does that make her any less capable of being VP? As a mom, I would be torn. On one hand, I would want to show the world that I could handle the job and take care of my family. On the other hand, I would always wonder if I was not giving enough to my family. As an American mom, am I saying that a mom with 5 children and one with a disability is just not capable of such a high power job. In a way, I hope that she shows the world just what an American mom is capable of.

2. I feel really sorry for Bristol. 17 year olds get pregnant. How many of them are plastered across the national news when it happens? I hope that she is able to hold her head high through all of this.

3. The whole abortion issue. I know they have made big deals of Bristol keeping her baby and Palin keeping her baby with downs. But on the other hand, during the DNC, I heard Obama make the statement that if one of his daughter's made a mistake and got pregnant, that he would not want one of them to have to live with it. Abortion is a big issue with the public. We all have our personal decision made on this issue. It is hard to understand the other side.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

What I have a hard time figuring out is if Sarah Palin is so ambitious (and according to all types of news coverage, she has been since high school), why did she have 5 children? Don't get me wrong, I have NOTHING against ambitious women (Martha Stewart RULES) but at one point, something's gotta give. Right now, it looks like it was her family. I have a GF with 3 kids, the last one with Downs. She was a pediatrician who stopped practising because of the time that was required for all the therapies that her child needed. I'm telling you right now, speaking from experience, there is NO WAY that woman is going to be able to mother her boy if she becomes VP. There's just no way. And I don't understand how she could have accepted that nomination knowing that her daughter was pregnant. How could she not have KNOWN that the press was going to eat her daughter alive? Whether it's right or wrong, it was going to happen...

Me said...

Lauren - IMO whether or not she can do the job while having a Downs baby is beside the point.

She is turning her back on family commitments which makes her values out of whack. It takes BOTH parents to handle what is on that family's plate.

From experience, I know that having a Downs child (no matter how high or low functioning) means that you have to be there 100%. She can't possibly give the maternal attention that child needs as VP. My mom couldn't even hold down a part-time job with a Downs baby and my mom is brilliant. Yes, my dad was there too.

There are things you don't think about until it is not an infant anymore. For one, they get mistreated. You have to be on guard 24x7 to protect them. My little sister was tormented at school because it was part of a mainsteam school, and "normal" kids parents in the neighborhood wouldn't let their kids play with her (both ignorant and cruel). Not to mention there is usually a whole host of health problems, a common one is heart related.

Then lets move on to the fact that education for Downs children SUCKS. In addition to what was available, my mom took up the slack with in home education. We were her play mates and home was her education.

It is rare for a Downs person to be so high functioning that they can ever be left alone without complete supervision. Hiring strangers doesn't work because it just isn't fair... their feelings are amplified and having a mother leave all the time is mean in a way I can't convey to you unless you have lived it.

The baby is only 4 months old, she has no clue what is coming. My little sister didn't even walk until she was 5. They develop way slower. My mother worked with her every single day to get her to use her legs instead of scoot on the floor.

I could go on all day. Obviously she thinks she will hire it out (and no it is not fair to put in all on your husband).

Good luck with that Sarah, I feel really bad for your baby. Really bad. Glad you decided not to have an abortion though! Your super!

Me said...

Sorry Ashley. I guess I have some really strong opinions when it comes to this issue. I should probably take a deep breath before I comment.

and check my grammar, yeesh.