You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Abstinence’ tag.
Given Bristol’s considerable vivacity and ability, it should come as no surprise that she has been offered a job to co-host a morning radio show! Can’t wait to hear Bristol discuss how well abstinence works and how tough it is to be a teen mom while staring on two reality shows, a music video and doing photo shoots with Us Weekly, In Touch, People and Harper’s Bazaar.
From the moment we were first introduced to Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention in 2008, her children were on a first name basis with America. Within three days of the convention, we learned that Bristol was pregnant. In a press release announcing Bristol’s pregnancy, Palin also stated that Bristol would keep the baby and marry the baby’s father Levi Johnston. For many people, men and women, Sarah’s attitude regarding Bristol’s pregnancy was unforgiveable. It wasn’t a shock that Palin had a 17 year old daughter who was not a virgin. It was Sarah’s reaction to the news that her daughter was pregnant that was so shocking. Proclaiming that Levi and Bristol were going to marry was a clue that Sarah was out of touch with the reality of the situation.
The reality is that teen pregnancy in the United States is a significant social problem. There are health risks for the babies born to teen mothers. Their children are more likely to suffer health, social, and emotional problems.
- Teenage mothers have an increased risk of complications, including premature labor.
- Teenage births are associated with lower annual income for the mother. Eighty percent of teen mothers must rely on welfare at some point.
- Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school. Only about one-third of teen mothers obtain a high school diploma.
- Teenage pregnancies are associated with increased rates of alcohol and substance abuse, lower educational level, and reduced earning potential in teen fathers.
- In the United States, the annual cost of teen pregnancies from lost tax revenues, public assistance, child health care, foster care, and involvement with the criminal justice system is estimated to be about $7 billion.
Moreover, for the first time in more than a decade, teen pregnancy rates rose 3% in 2006. Since 1990 there has been a clear downward trend of teen pregnancy rates, but the trend is now reversing itself. The increase in birth rates for teenagers was true for all racial and ethnic groups. Many suggest that the increase is attributable to abstinence-only sex education instituted during the Bush administration. Funding for abstinence education doubled from 2000 to 2003 to $120 million. By 2008, funding was at $176 million. Significantly the focus on abstinence and the shifts in pregnancy occurred about the same time.
Bristol Palin’s pregnancy was particularly troublesome because Sarah Palin was her mother. If Sarah wasn’t aware of the general information relating to teen pregnancies in the United States, surely she might have learned from her own mistakes. Sarah was herself pregnant before marrying Todd (Benet 57). It was financially very difficult for the couple when they married, so this unplanned baby and marriage was less than ideal. Todd and Sarah were unable to support themselves when first married and had to live with Sarah’s sisters. Todd had to take a job working snow-removal trucks in Anchorage, working the red-eye shift (57). At the time of Sarah’s marriage, she and Todd were not teenagers, and it was still very difficult.
Given Sarah and Todd’s experience, we expect that they would make sure that their children learned from the mistakes that they made. Yet Bristol Palin acknowledges that she never had the “sex talk” with her mom or dad. The failure of Sarah and Todd to have the “sex talk” with Bristol is even more egregious given the fact that Levi and Bristol where sharing a room in the Palin house. According to Levi, Sarah “probably knew” they were having sex.
Even before Palin became John McCain’s running mate, she seemed worried about what a grandchild would do to her political career. According to Johnston, she had a plan for how to handle her daughter’s unexpected pregnancy, which was to adopt the grandchild as her own. Why would Sarah Palin accept the nomination by John McCain, knowing how hard this would be on her family? (Heilemann and Halperin 360) Sarah was specifically asked, “Have you thought about the impact on your family? Would you be 100% committed to this project going forward?” (360) Sarah’s answered, “Yes, 100%” (361).
Yet in Going Rogue, Palin describes Bristol’s shock and horror when the media became aware of her pregnancy, “Mom! The whole world knows about this. It’s bad enough that Wasilla knows, but now the whole world knows” (Palin 234). Palin’s re-telling of this story suggests that she and Bristol were victims of unfair media hype. She would have us feel sorry for her and Bristol. I feel sorry for Bristol for having such an ignorant mother who was so self-centered that she put her own ambition ahead of the interest of her child. I don’t feel sorry for Palin. She was warned about the impact of the publicity on her family, and knowingly accepted the nomination of John McCain.
Not only are Bristol and Levi not married, or living happily ever after, but they are now in the midst of a lawsuit over custody rights of their child. Bristol previously admitted in a nationally televised interview, that abstinence was not realistic. Now that Bristol identifies herself as a “born again virgin,” she has become an Abstinence Ambassador for the Candies foundation. Upon questioning by Oprah, she is confident that she wants to refrain from sexual intimacy until marriage. Bristol has now stated that “abstinence is practical and very realistic for some people”, and that she does believe it is a do-able, modern day approach to pregnancy prevention.
Her position on pre-marital sex once again, reflects an unrealistic view of human sexuality. The vast majority of Americans have sex before marriage. Not only is this true today, but it has been true for 70 years. Nearly 9 in 10 women born in the ‘40’s had sex before marriage. According to a national survey, 95% of women in the United States today have had sex before marriage. Thus it would be quite unusual if Bristol refrains from sexual intimacy before marriage. Palin failed her daughter before Bristol’s pregnancy, and is now failing her once again by encouraging Bristol to promote the idea that she will refrain from a sexual relationship before marriage.
Webster defines “prostitute” as a person who “deliberately debases himself for money or other consideration…a person who deliberately lowers his standards for financial gain.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. Sarah Palin seems to have no standards for herself if money is involved. She is willing to associate herself with bowlers and liquor distributors in Las Vegas, if the price is right. By example, Sarah has taught Bristol that if the price is right you can say anything. Bristol is making a significant income for a single mom with no college experience. She has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, has sold pictures of her baby for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and she now gives speeches for thousands of dollars to promote the importance of abstinence. Sadly Bristol seems to have learned from her mother, that if the price is right, it is perfectly acceptable to debase herself. Thus the only thing wrong with Bristol is her mother.
I feel sorry for Bristol Palin because Sarah Palin is her mom. Trying to be sensitive to the difficulty that Bristol must face, I have refrained from dedicating an entire article to Bristol. When Sarah Palin suggested that the pregnancy would all be O.K., because Levi and Bristol were going to be married, I didn’t comment. When the Palins sold pictures of Bristol’s baby for $300,000.00, I made only passing remarks. When Bristol stated in an interview that “abstinence was not realistic”, I commented only regarding Sarah Palin. Yet the recent news about a feature in Harper’s Bazaar relating to Bristol Palin was too much for even me.
I can’t fault Bristol for taking advantage of people who are willing to pay her thousands of dollars to give speeches, interviews or take her picture. I fault every company who has taken advantage of her teenage pregnancy for the sake of a buck.
Consider what is happening in our country.
- The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world.
- America has 750,000 teen pregnancies annually.
- Sixty percent of high school seniors report having had sex.
- The pregnancy rate among 15-19 year olds has increased by 3% from 2005 to 2006 which was the first increase since 1990.
- During the Bush Administration there was an increase in federal funding for abstinence only education.
- Teen pregnancy has a negative impact on education and employment.
- Some people blame the increase in the rate of teen pregnancy on an emphasis on abstinence-only sex education. In fact $150,000.00 per year previously went for federal financing for sex education that emphasized abstinence until marriage.
- The Obama administration has moved away from abstinence only programs. The current administration has allocated more than $100,000 in 2010 and 2011 to preventing teen pregnancy, including instruction on contraceptives and STDs.
- Girls who have a baby at 17 years or younger will typically earn less money throughout the rest of their lives.
- Boys who father a baby of a teenage mother will also typically earn less money throughout the next 18 years.
- Daughters of teen mothers are three times more likely to become teenage mothers.
- Eight of ten teenage fathers do not marry the mothers of their first born children, and if they pay child support at all, it is typically less than $800.00 ANNUALLY.
- Teen childbearing in the United States costs $9.1 BILLION DOLLARS annually. Most of these expenses are associated with the negative consequences for the children of teen mothers, including health care, foster care and incarceration.
- STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) are also an overwhelming result of sexual activity in young people. The CDC estimates that there are 19 million new STD infections each year, with over half of them being within the 15-24 year old population. The cost of these STDs is estimated to be $1.5 billion dollars annually.
- Sarah Palin has advocated abstinence only education. We know it didn’t work for Sarah and it didn’t work for Bristol (Benet). Now we have confirmation that it hasn’t worked for the majority of teens of the entire country.
Our society has focused publicity, magazine articles, television interviews, and celebrity status on Bristol Palin that she would never have had if she had not had a baby. Her personal wealth is directly attributable to the fact that she had a baby out of wedlock as a teenager. Obviously we are rewarding Bristol for having a baby instead of pursuing a career, an education, and/or an enduring relationship with a man. Unquestionably we are rewarding and celebrating the fact that Bristol Palin was not abstinent, and didn’t use birth control. Unquestionably we are making Bristol wealthy because she used poor judgment and acted irresponsibly. Perhaps it is time that WE refrain from poor judgment and irresponsibility.
The hypocrisy of Sarah Palin has never been as obvious as her stance regarding abortion and pre-marital sex. Palin was pregnant when she married, (Benet, “Trailblazer”). In “Going Rogue”, Sarah Palin has admitted that when she learned that she was pregnant with Trig, she considered her choice. Palin’s oldest daughter Bristol had a child out of wedlock. Even though abstinence clearly has not worked for the Palin women, despite Bristol becoming a “born again virgin” that has not stopped Sarah from extolling its virtues, as evidenced by her upcoming fundraiser for the Uptown Women’s Center, which is to be a satellite location for the Downtown Pregnancy Center.
The Downtown Pregnancy Center claims to provide, “real answers for life’s questions” by “empowering women through knowledge” the center actually imparts misinformation, distorts facts, and is blatantly untruthful regarding information relating to abortion.
Today I have obtained the “DPC Doctrinal Statement” which is the form all volunteers must fill out before being approved as a volunteer at the Downtown Pregnancy Center. Consistent with Palin’s purported moral beliefs, and to my horror, this form provides in part:
SANCITY OF LIFE
- The Bible clearly teaches the humanity, value and divine creation of the preborn child. (What about the value of all the children who are born to mothers that can’t provide for their children, to provide food, shelter, or health care? Are the Republicans who oppose abortion doing their part to support all those children who are born to teenage mothers, and don’t have health care? )
- The woman in crisis is a person for whom Jesus Christ died.(Does this mean that if I didn’t have a pregnancy before marriage that Jesus didn’t die for me too?)
- The person in crisis is personally accountable to God for her responses and choices.(Would this also require the father of the baby to be equally accountable to God for his choices?)
- Professing Christians have a divine mandate to protect preborn life, to promote the sanctity of life, and to promote moral purity. (For some, this will take the form of prayer, for others counseling, or picketing, etc.) (What about the millions of children who are born to teenage mothers, who never know their fathers, whose mothers can’t afford to raise them, and who never appreciate the importance of an education, because they must work as soon as possible to put food on the table? Is anyone doing anything to protect them? I didn’t realize that all those people picketing at the Planned Parenthood annual luncheon were acting because of a “divine mandate.”)
- It is sin to be silent and inactive as preborn life is ended, and as women continue to be deceived and used as pawns by a money-making abortion industry.(What about the sin of making money off of Right to Life organizations who pay Sarah Palin to deceive their followers?)
- God intended for sexual intimacy to occur within the boundaries of a marriage relationship. Therefore as Christians we are held to a standard of sexual purity and abstinence until marriage.(If this is the case why are women the only ones to fall from grace when a pregnancy occurs? Why don’t evangelicals perform a DNA test on all babies born to ensure the accountability of the fathers? Can a woman regain her “sexual purity” by simply declaring herself to be a “Born-Again-Virgin?”)
The Volunteer Application for this Center also asks the potential volunteer questions which include:
How do you know you are a Christian?
Have you ever received training to share your faith in Jesus Christ?…If no, are you willing to be trained in personal evangelism? http://getinvolvedforlife.org/volunteerapplication.htm
If Palin feels it is her role to provide religious guidance to those who believe as she does, or to those who aspire to be as pure as Palin, they are free to make that mistake. If Palin wants to train others in evangelism, she is free to do so, but it should occur in the context of a religious organization, not a political one. When a politician suggests that she is the representative of all the people of the United States, or even the representative of the citizens of Alaska, and attempts to impose her religious beliefs on the electorate, I take offense.
It has been 37 years since the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, where the United States Supreme Court recognized the Constitutional right of a woman to decide about the desirability of a pregnancy in the first trimester. I expect all of our elected politicians to follow the law. In the absence of a change in our laws, Palin has the right to express her religious views in the church of her choosing, but she does not have the right to impose her will upon the rest of the citizens of this country, if her ideas are contrary to the law. Someone please tell Sarah Palin that it was God’s plan that McCain would lose the election of 2008, that she would resign her position as a politician, and that the American public would see her for the hypocrite that she is.
The Palin family seems to have difficulty understanding the meaning of words, not words that might be unfamiliar to most adults, but words like “rogue” and “virgin”. For example, “rogue” is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “a wandering beggar or tramp; a vagabond…a rascal or scoundrel.” Either Sarah doesn’t understand what that word means, or she was rather foolish to refer to herself by that word. Bristol seems to have the same limitation, referring to herself as a “born-again-virgin.” http://www.examiner.com/x-30616-LA-African-American-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m1d24-Bristol-Palin-is-now-a-born-again-Virgin. Webster defines “virgin” as a young woman who has never had sexual intercourse. Either Bristol has previously had sexual intercourse or her baby was the result of an immaculate conception.
Sarah Palin has just announced that she will be coming to Dallas in April to raise money for the purchase of a beautiful white colonial style house, complete with black shutters, which is featured on the website, Palin4Life.com. I had the impression from the website that this home would provide a place for unwed mothers to live during their pregnancy. However after great effort, I have learned that this organization does not even provide housing for teenagers who are pregnant, and certainly isn’t focused upon pregnant girls in Dallas of limited financial means.
Caroline Klein of the Downtown Pregnancy Center (the organization that Palin purports to benefit by her appearance at this dinner), confirms that the house is not intended to provide a place to live for ANY teenager who is pregnant. The purported reason for the Uptown location is to meet the needs of Southern Methodist University (SMU) college students. For those readers who don’t live in Dallas, SMU is located within Highland Park, which is home to some of Dallas’ wealthiest people. The current facility run by the Downtown Pregnancy Center is not staffed by a medical doctor and the current facility does not provide contraceptive services or abortion services. Services it does provide consist only of pregnancy testing, sonograms, and they provide “counseling services” to pregnant teens regarding options of adoption, keeping the baby, and abortion, but they refuse to provide any reference to any clinics that perform abortions.
By limiting contraceptives and education regarding them, we are necessarily increasing the national debt by promoting dependent mothers and children. Palin has made hundreds of thousands of dollars speaking to right-to-life organizations, yet her grandchild, the product of an unmarried teenage pregnancy, receives health care through public assistance. The hypocrisy of this gesture is enough to induce morning sickness.
Consider the fact that Texas teens lead the nation in having babies, as reported by the Dallas Morning News, Nov. 5th 2007. Texas’ policy is to deny contraceptives without parental consent wherever possible and to push an abstinence-only sex education program. Compare Texas to California where teen birth rate dropped by 47% during the same period where the state teaches abstinence, but also explains contraception at school, and provides birth control to teenagers free, without parental consent required. Ibid. The United States has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the industrialized world, which translates into over 3,000,000 unintended pregnancies each year. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/state_data/states/texas.html. In Texas 18% of women aged 15-44 have incomes below the federal poverty level and 33% of women in this age group are uninsured. Ibid. In 2005 a mere 464 publically funded family planning clinics in Texas provided contraceptive care to 540,620 women, including 138,050 sexually active teenagers. Every public dollar spent on family planning services saves the federal government three dollars in Medicare costs for prenatal and newborn care. Ibid. Given the efforts Palin has devoted to talking about the federal deficit, it seems she would be in favor doing anything we can to limit the federal funds spent on Medicare.
The most appalling thing to me about this entire event is that Palin is obviously doing this for the publicity. Yet Palin supporters seem to view her as a noble, virtuous, and the champion of the right to life movement. The reality is dramatically different. Palin herself was pregnant before she married. Her oldest daughter had a baby as a teenager, had difficulty completing high school due to the pregnancy, and now lives with her parents, upon whom she and her child are dependent. Lynn Vincent, the ghost writer of Palin’s book, has publically admitted that she had an abortion.
Other observations and questions related to this event include:
1. You may purchase a Bronze seat for dinner at this fundraiser for $1000.00; Silver seating, dinner, attendance at the VIP reception, and receive a program listing for $10,000.00; Gold seating is $25,000 for two seats, the VIP reception, and program listing; and if you are either really wealthy, or very foolish, you can purchase 4 Platinum seats for $75,000.00. Why wouldn’t you purchase two tickets separately and save $5000.00? Do they just think the people paying for these tickets are just too stupid to figure out the best way to buy the ticket, or are those involved with organizing this event just not very adept at using a calculator?
2. Maybe Palin is coming back to Texas because she is pregnant again. At least this time she will be on a private jet so if she gives birth on the plane the other passengers will be people she knows.
3. The website will only accommodate the purchase by one person of 30 $1000.00 tickets, 20 Silver or Gold tickets, and only a single Platinum ticket. I think if you want to buy more than one Platinum ticket, it would only be fair that you be allowed to do so.
4. Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer inquired about whether this organization was listed as a 501(c) (3) organization, and so far the organization is not listed on the IRS’s Publication 78 Web site. See, www.dallasobserver.com. I too called the IRS this morning, and consulted the IRS web site and there is currently no listing for a 503c (3) organization known as Palin4Life. Since Tom Leppert, the mayor, is going to introduce Palin, I consulted with the mayor’s office and “Ashley” with Mr. Leppert’s office didn’t know anything about the event.
Abortion is an emotional issue for many. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if you want to prevent abortions and limit the national debt the best way to do both is to provide family planning services to teenagers. The house for which Palin purports to be raising money doesn’t provide a place to live for pregnant teens, it doesn’t provide contraceptives, and it doesn’t provide referrals to girls who might want to opt for an abortion. When so many teenage girls in Texas need help preventing unwanted pregnancies, and facilitating their independence, it seems a total waste of money to focus on buying a home to serve as a center for girls who attend SMU, and who probably already have the financial means to get the services they might need.
Bristol may have become a celebrity due to the notoriety of her mother. This is the 21st century. Ninety-five percent of people in the United States have pre-marital sex. It is so common that it has been described as “universal”. http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2006/12/19/index.html It’s time to accept that in the real world, there are no born-again-virgins.
Sarah Palin, the FORMER Governor or Alaska, who posed for a magazine cover advertising herself as being from the “coldest state and the hottest governor” has directly attacked the National Organization for Women (NOW) on her Facebook.
The hypocrisy of Sarah Palin is once again evident in her rants about NOW. In particular she is critical of NOW for complaining to CBS regarding a pro-life commercial scheduled to run during the Super-Bowl. Palin suggests that a pro-life message is a “pro-woman” and “pro-child” message. Palin also proclaims the intelligence of Bristol’s recent declaration that she is a “born-again-virgin”. The hypocrisy in Palin’s rants is clear:
- Palin herself was pregnant when she married, and thus she was not a virgin at the time of her marriage, and never became “born-again”. Abstinence is not a virtue. Instead abstinence is what girls like Bristol proclaim when they don’t have a romantic interest. How long do you think Bristol will remain “born-again”…if there is such a thing regarding virginity?
- Palin herself admits in her book, “Going Rogue”, that she considered her CHOICE when she found she was pregnant with a Down’s Syndrome child. Over 90% of women when faced with the same decision opt to abort the pregnancy. Thus the fact that Palin chose to have the baby doesn’t make her better than the vast majority of women, it just makes her part of the minority. The important consideration is that she had a CHOICE, and she was given the opportunity to consider her CHOICE. The ultimate choice she made is personal, and instead of flaunting that choice she should respect the right of every woman to have the same choice that she had.
- Palin suggests that women are smart enough and educated enough to have babies and pursue professional goals. Yet Palin goes on to state in her book that, “I wish I would have listened to my mother when she warned me that as a working mom I would have to make tough choices. She never said that one could ‘have it all’, but it was becoming clear that maybe one couldn’t have everything at once.”(pg 86) Palin has a son who has been on drugs, a daughter who has been pregnant out of wedlock at age 17, a 15 yr old who has broken into a house for an alcohol party, and a Down’s Syndrome child who is often seen without shoes, coat and his glasses. Obviously she is smart enough to determine how to have babies, but I wonder if she is educated enough to pursue professional goals.
A friend reminded me today of a quote by Forest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does”.
- Finally it is worthy of note that Palin’s ghostwriter for her book Lynn Vincent had an abortion.
Palin must think it is okay to have an abortion or sexual relations as long as you proclaim each to be wrong at a later time, after enjoying the enhancement to your life from having an abortion or sexual relations.
If my husband of 25 years dies before me, will I become a “born-again-virgin”? Maybe then Sarah Palin will read my book, “Rebuttal to the Rogue”, and realize that someone has figured her out.