Choice Matters Applauds Bristol Palin
Bristol Palin has declared she doesn’t believe in abstinence-only education because it’s “not realistic at all.”
The temptation is to be glib, to say “duh! You think after getting pregnant and having the baby, while a teenager in high school…” but that would be an easy shot and a meaningless one.
Yes, the fact that her mother—vehemently anti-choice and firm proponent of abstinence-only ed, Alaskan Governor and former VP candidate Sarah Palin—tried to turn the TV interview into a political moment to benefit herself, makes it hard not to make fun of this “come to Jesus” moment for the Palin family, but we must.
The Republican Party and then Democratic Party candidate Obama declared Bristol’s pregnancy off limits. It was a private family matter.
And we let them. It wasn’t private. It isn’t private and we should never have allowed them to hush us up. What it was was a phenomenal teaching moment!
You’d think we’d learn from our mistakes…but we don’t. We made the same mistake with abortion. Back in 1973, women spoke out about having abortions. They weren’t proud but they also weren’t ashamed. Abortions existed and so did the women who had them. But somehow we allowed the tables to be turned on us. Women who exercised their right to terminate their pregnancies were suddenly whispered about and pushed into the closet.
NYS Governor Paterson, then a NYS Senator, gave one of the best speeches I ever heard on this exact topic. He spoke of the damage elected officials do when they champion the right to choose but then whisper about someone who has actually exercised that right.
Abortions are a medical procedure, and a civil right. We don’t whisper about people who exercise their civil right to vote.
The move is on to get women to come out of the shadows, to speak out so that the world will know how very many of us there are. An estimated 43% of all women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
Teen pregnancy is not a crime and Bristol Palin is not a criminal.
Bristol Palin is a white teenage girl from an upwardly mobile, church-going, two-parent Republican family who did what so many teenagers do; she had sex. (See…it’s not race, Party, class, or economically determined behavior!) Without comprehensive sex ed in school and, most likely, not at home either, she probably did not use birth control. Regardless, she got pregnant. Given her statement that she wished it had happened ten years from now, it is safe to bet if she’d known more about contraceptives she would have used one. And if the condom had broken or if she failed to use a contraceptive, she would have turned to PLAN B, emergency birth control which can be used up to five days after unprotected sex.
So let’s stop whispering and thank Bristol for coming out of the shadows. She has hopefully started a national dialogue that is long overdue.
Choice Matters applauds Bristol for speaking out and would welcome her as our spokesperson. Choice Matters is sending Bristol one of our Plan B t-shirt with the hope that she will join us as our Plan B educator.
Let us know which T Shirt you want us to send to Bristol
Go to our OOPS-Plan B shop and view the options: (click here) or cut and paste: http://www.cafepress.com/oopsplanb
Then email us your picks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hurry because there’s a lot of work to do be done…everywhere. Every time Bristol wears the shirt, you can bet someone will ask her about it.
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