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Palin: abstinence ed...pregnant 17-year daughter
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: I think I think this Reply with quote

LLB wrote:
In the end it's the hypocrisy of the situation that is my problem.


What hypocrisy, exactly?
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
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Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Don't know how to answer Reply with quote

Bev -

I don't know how to answer your question...I felt that statement was entirely self-explanatory based on the content of the full posting.

If somebody is better able to interpret my post so that I don't simply repeat it, feel free.
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Don't know how to answer Reply with quote

LLB wrote:
Bev -

I don't know how to answer your question...I felt that statement was entirely self-explanatory based on the content of the full posting.

If somebody is better able to interpret my post so that I don't simply repeat it, feel free.


Then I have to assume you're talking about:

Quote:
for 20+ years, the right wing of the Republican Party has been all about "Family Values."


The only thing is I'm not sure how anyone being supportive of their teenage daughter actually getting pregnant can be seen as being hypocritical. I've always been taught that that that very support is what family values is all about, i.e. love & commitment. It's not all about sex, you know. Wink

Quote:
Go to an evangelical church, have your daughters wear abstinence rings, don't let them teach sex-ed in the schools, and your kids will turn out better than that riff-raff down the street.


Having been raised in an evangelical church and now being well out of that environment, I'm sitting here trying to decide whether to fall out of my chair laughing or shake my head in dismay over the skewed views each political side has of the other. The "riff-raff down the street" line gets me about as much as anything else. My church, being small, was filled with the riff-raff.

Which is part of the misconception with this entire argument on both sides. People are people. We all make mistakes. We all do human things. And there ain't nothing more human than sex and teenagers.

Growing up I knew just as many girls - church raised - who got an abortion as I did those that got pregnant, married and kept the child. It didn't get talked about in detail but it happened both ways. The very fact that Palin is talking about her daughter's situation head-on is astonishing to me.

Is it hypocrisy that when you get right down to it a male nominee might not have gotten the same treatment over this issue? I don't know. I have my doubts. Not just because of negativity on the left but also the right too. Is that sexism in reverse? Heck if I know. What I do know is that it's bringing the issue on both sides to light in ways that it's never been looked at before. I see it as a good thing.

For good or for bad, hypocritical or not, some are supporting her because she lives what she believes, though. ( Anti-abortion group says Palin 'walks her talk')

So, call it hypocrisy if you want or if you don't believe in her stances on the issues but there is nothing hypocritical about a mother loving and accepting their children as they are, mistakes, warts and all.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Growing up I knew just as many girls - church raised - who got an abortion as I did those that got pregnant, married and kept the child. It didn't get talked about in detail but it happened both ways. The very fact that Palin is talking about her daughter's situation head-on is astonishing to me.


But that's just the point. Abortion is called a sin by right wing conservatives. It's evil. It's killing to them. But, all kinds of people get them, including -- conveniently -- people from the "far right." They don't acknowledge that young adults might benefit from learning how to prevent pregnancies instead of assuming that young adults will avoid sex altogether because they say so. They seem to assume that learning about contraception will lead them to sex. What kind of nonsense is that?! Knowledge isn't evil. Knowledge makes you more informed and savvy and able to make intelligent decisions before possibly taking a very important step. No one is saying teach kids how to get abortions. What they are saying is teach young adults how to avoid them. But, of course, there are some who see even the pill as a form of abortion. So reasonable people cannot win.

And, what about the economic poor who are at the mercy of whatever "the government" decides is good for them?! They don't have the luxury of Sarah Palin's family who probably could afford to either pay for an abortion or the luxury of travel to a state that will allow for an abortion or pay for a pregnancy that their daughter could then decide will end with adoption. They are stuck, unlike Miss Palin.

Just think about the poorest of us who have so much less choice in the world. They have to live someone else's morals due to a lack of resources.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think in this day and age it is almost impossible for teens not to be aware of contraception. Information about it is found all throughout the media--TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, store aisles. Plus they talk among their friends. So no matter whether their parents discuss it with them (and some parents find that subject still very difficult), it's out there. And contraception (talking condoms here) is used, not only for preventing conception, but also for preventing various transmitted diseases, which sounds disgusting enough to never want unprotected sex with someone you don't know well at all.

What I'm getting at here is there is plenty of information out there regarding contraception and much of it IS geared toward the younger set. So why is the percentage of pregnancies still so high after so many years of having it available? Who knows? It's been out there in the open for 30+ years. So we can't use the argument that babies are being conceived because there's no information being given out or that only the children of parents who withhold it from them get pregnant. Have the teens become careless because abortion has become such an easy fix? I don't know. Are some of them inhibited in their choices because of drugs or alcohol? Possible, but I don't know.

I just can't accept that these kids don't know. But it's still their choice. If you choose to have sex and don't use anything, you risk many things, a baby being one of them. Abortion isn't necessarily the answer either. How many women have multiple abortions? Have they not learned the lesson yet?
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2491

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very confused as to why pregnancy should be a public issue. Does sex ed at school ever actually work? I doodled through mine and my parents were OK with me getting a C in that one subject. Frankly, they treated it more as a soft course than art, music or any of my electives. In my son's class the teacher had to grade on a curve in order for everyone not to fail. Even with the curve the majority of kids received a C or below.

The majority of young people I work with have gone through sex ed at school and the few I have spoken to about it have found it a subject of amusement, not education. I can remember one young guy Matt and the stories of the hard time he and a friend gave the teacher (the stories were hilarious!). (FYI, when Matt's brother was supposed to go through the course the teacher asked the parents to have him opt into the religious alternative!) The few of these kids I have had really in depth conversations about it with talk about the fact that sex ed doesn't really prepare you for real life sex. One girl and I were talking about how the school had told them always use condoms, always makesure the guy has one but they didn't talk about what you do when you don't really have a boyfriend till your 19 and when that ONE boyfriend, when your girlfriends have had dozens, doesn't want to wear a condom. The school had not given her a way to deal with the actual confidence issues that accompany most of us into sexual relationships. I mean, how many of us have heard about guys buying condoms too large for them because they reach for the xx-large size just to make a point to the sales clerk? One of my friends got pregnant twice using birth control because the idiot she was with refused to buy the small size he actually needed.

I think parents really need to address this issue with their own kids. This way each child receives the personalized, real life experience talk they need on this issue and not just some school teachers bored droning about what diseases you can get without a condom. I am sure some people will choose not to talk to their kids about the issue but to think that those kids will then turn around and be all interested in what a teacher has to say about it is just silly.

maggie b.
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn wrote:
Quote:
Growing up I knew just as many girls - church raised - who got an abortion as I did those that got pregnant, married and kept the child. It didn't get talked about in detail but it happened both ways. The very fact that Palin is talking about her daughter's situation head-on is astonishing to me.


But that's just the point. Abortion is called a sin by right wing conservatives.


Not necessarily all conservatives, however.

And not necessarily all Republicans are far right conservatives any more than all Democrats are far left, either.

Quote:
And, what about the economic poor who are at the mercy of whatever "the government" decides is good for them?! They don't have the luxury of Sarah Palin's family who probably could afford to either pay for an abortion or the luxury of travel to a state that will allow for an abortion or pay for a pregnancy that their daughter could then decide will end with adoption. They are stuck, unlike Miss Palin.

Just think about the poorest of us who have so much less choice in the world. They have to live someone else's morals due to a lack of resources.


Seems to me, the frustration here isn't over conservative beliefs but against the fact that there aren't enough people that agree with your beliefs to actually pass the laws you want passed. That's always assuming that it's laws you want passed and don't simply want to complain about the other side.

I'm not even saying I agree or disagree with either side and look at the attitudes I'm getting. I am moderate in most political issues. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that the abortion issue shouldn't be the one thing deciding what elects our politicians any more so I don't particularly like discussing it to begin with. There are a lot more important issue facing this country currently.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe in a woman's right to choose. I was at high risk for a Down Syndrome baby (both my sister and nephew have Down Syndrome) I refused the amnio --which I think Palin had-- because there was still a slight chance (2% I think) of it causing a miscarriage and I was not willing to have an abortion. But it was my choice. I don't understand why some people feel the need to impose their choice/beliefs on others.

My best friend in high school became pregnant by an older married man who took advantage of her innocence (her very first time and she got pregnant). Teenagers are can be very vulnerable individuals. She had the right to an abortion and I supported her 100%.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
Have the teens become careless because abortion has become such an easy fix? I don't know.

Tee, I agree with most of what you wrote but this line kind of stuck out. I don't think abortion is a quick and easy fix, even for those who do not see a moral problem with it. In addition, abortion is legal in most western nations as far as I'm aware, and despite this you do not see the teen pregnancy rates you guys have in the US. My school in the US actually had a day care center, which is something that stuns people here in Israel. And trust me, teens in Israel definitely have sex - not all of them, but quite a few. I think the problem in the US is not sex ed - as you noted, the information is out there for those who want it.

The bigger problem in the US, as I understand it, is that contraceptives can be hard to get, due to costs and difficult access. I think LLB said they are actually locked up in some stores? That's just ridiculous. I have a friend who is studying in the US and she told me you cannot get the morning after pill in many places. And now I hear it's legal for pharmacists to refuse to sell birth control pills if it's against their religious beliefs. I'm all for the idea of safe, legal and rare - but how can abortion be made rare if the means to prevent it are unavailable?

Dick wrote:
My point is that the sympathy being expressed for Palin is out of place. It is she who brought the publicity to her daughter's situation by agreeing to the nomination. Surely she was aware that this matter would out and questions would arise. Yes, teenagers are often heedless of consequences, but then, so was Palin, in my estimation.

Sympathy for Sarah Palin may be out of place, but sympathy for Bristol Palin, a high school senior who is not running for public office, is certainly not out of place. She should not be made to pay for her mother's choices and deserves to have her private life remain private - as do other children of politicians, such as Chelsea Clinton, Jenna (Bush) Hager and Sasha Obama. They are not your elected representatives and it should be their choice what part of their life they wish to share with others. And there are no ifs or buts about it.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
Tee, I agree with most of what you wrote but this line kind of stuck out. I don't think abortion is a quick and easy fix, even for those who do not see a moral problem with it.

Thanks, Yulie, I appreciate your input, especially from someone outside the US, because there are sometimes differing viewpoints. Here in the US, it has been said, in various places and times, that abortion has become just another form of birth control. If that's true, that's sad. What happened to the original thoughts when abortion was first approved so many years ago--for medical emergencies, health of the mother, etc, etc? I was in an Applebee's a couple of years ago and the round table next to ours was filled with some teens. Since we were basically side by side, it was impossible not to hear their conversations. One person was describing her abortion, then another popped in and said, "Oh, I've had three and it's okay." And on and on. Talk about sad. These were still kids, in my eyes. In a very populated area such as ours, believe me, contraception is so available, you practically trip over it in the aisles. So maybe in some remote areas where this isn't so, availability may be not so apparent, but any teen watching MTV or any of the numerous idiotic reality shows has to be aware where babies come from and how it's suggested they be prevented (along with the many inflammatory diseases).

So, I'm still of the belief that there are ways to get contraception (and not just the pill, which doesn't protect against risk of diseases) if they want it. They can get cigarettes, even though supposedly in some states they need to be of a certain age. How about liquor? Not being 21 hasn't stopped most who are younger to obtain it when they want it. With the exception of some places, I still think (and this is my opinion only) that if a person wants to prevent a pregnancy, there are the means readily available. This is not 1959, but almost 2009. The information is out there and in the open, in most areas.
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Maggie AAR



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:

The bigger problem in the US, as I understand it, is that contraceptives can be hard to get, due to costs and difficult access. I think LLB said they are actually locked up in some stores? That's just ridiculous. I have a friend who is studying in the US and she told me you cannot get the morning after pill in many places. And now I hear it's legal for pharmacists to refuse to sell birth control pills if it's against their religious beliefs. I'm all for the idea of safe, legal and rare - but how can abortion be made rare if the means to prevent it are unavailable?


I can only speak for the midwest but it is not hard to get condoms here at all -- in my area you can buy them at Walgreens, Walmart, Target -- all the major retail outlets. The three states surrounding me have the same situation. They are also not much more expensive than many things -- the average teenager may have to forgo a new piece of clothing to pay for a large box of condoms but that is about it.

Tee wrote:
And contraception (talking condoms here) is used, not only for preventing conception, but also for preventing various transmitted diseases, which sounds disgusting enough to never want unprotected sex with someone you don't know well at all.


I don't know how easy birth control pills are to get here but Tee is right, bc pills might make a good back up policy but they don't prevent disease. If your teen daughter -- or son -- is going to have sex they need to be using condoms and in most areas, those are readily available. In the handful of areas that I have been to where they are not it is a theft problem, not an attempt to keep them from the public.

Again, from knowing many people high school/college age the problem that I see is not lack of knowledge but a disturbing array of attitudes and under preparedness that make the kids in this country not reach for the box of plastic. Many, many young men still say they won't wear a condom unless made to. They feel strongly that it takes away from the experience for them. Most won't wear the right size. Many don't want to go through the check out line with the box. All of these attitudes tell me that even if they are ready for the physical aspect of sex they are not ready for all the other aspects of it. Sorry but sex ed is not all that's needed to prepare you for sex.

maggie b.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:
Again, from knowing many people high school/college age the problem that I see is not lack of knowledge but a disturbing array of attitudes and under preparedness that make the kids in this country not reach for the box of plastic. Many, many young men still say they won't wear a condom unless made to. They feel strongly that it takes away from the experience for them. Most won't wear the right size. Many don't want to go through the check out line with the box. All of these attitudes tell me that even if they are ready for the physical aspect of sex they are not ready for all the other aspects of it. Sorry but sex ed is not all that's needed to prepare you for sex.

Maggie, although I didn't state the above as you did when I posted, I feel strongly about all the points you made. It isn't a lack of knowledge, but an almost devil-may-care attitude toward their responsibilities when choosing to have sex. It's almost as though they're saying, "Why worry--there's a back-up method," not realizing that an abortion experience is so much more than just popping a pill. It's a form of surgery, for heaven's sake. When contraception first came out and became readily available so many years ago, it was supposed to be the answer to everything. Why wasn't/isn't it? Instead, the age of "children" having sex just keeps inching downward. In these days, we're no longer just looking at 16- and 17-year-olds. We have fourth and fifth graders on school buses being suspended from school because they were engaging in oral sex, which is only one step behind intercourse, just not performed on a bus.

I wish I had answers for these things, because the solutions seem simple enough on paper. But something's not working. How far down the chain of ages can we go now with kids and sex? It's scary.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: I think I think this Reply with quote

bbmedos wrote:
LLB wrote:
In the end it's the hypocrisy of the situation that is my problem.


What hypocrisy, exactly?



I can see the hyposcrisy in the situation...clearly. Aside from the fact that she doesn't support sex education in the schools and believes that abstinence is the only form of birth control, is it a surprise that her daughter is pregnant? Harsh...I know, but I have a daughter 3 years older than Palin's. I talked to my daughter long ago about birth control. It's a discussion every parent should have with their children. It's required. I'm not sure I trust a person to take over as the president who doesn't have this discussion with their children. I wish the daughter well, but part of me wonders, if the discussion took place, she wouldn't be in this position today.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee and Maggie, I can see my theory doesn't competely fit. I thought of a couple of things that I didn't note before and that may be relevant:

1. I wonder, if contraceptives are available and affordable, perhaps the problem in the US is that their use is stigamtized and younger people in particular feel uncomfortable obtaning them? I'm 31 and if my pharmacist told me that giving me my pills is against her beliefs so she won't do it, I would be really annoyed - but for someone younger, it may be much worse and it could keep them from getting the protection they need. Same goes for condoms - if there's no stigma, kids won't steal them and they wouldn't need to be locked up (as I believe one of you pointed out).

2. Condoms are great in protecting against many nasty diseases but they are not a fail-safe method - and when it comes to preventing pregnancy, they are much less effective than bc pills even when used correctly (and, as Maggie noted, they often aren't). I really think it's important for teenagers to understand that they should be using both. I also think it's important for teens to understand when they need to use condoms and when they can opt for other types of contraception.

A few weeks ago I saw an article in Yedioth Ahronot, Israel's most read newspaper, on what was reported as a shocking thing - a pregnant 15 year old. This was a two page spread with pictures (not of the actual girl) and commentary, in a paper that has millions of readers. In the United States this is common enough that it wouldn't even be in a local newspaper. So I'd just like to reiterate - teens in many countries have sex and have legal access to abortion, and yet somehow teen pregnancy is by far a bigger problem in the US than in other countries. I don't know why this is, but if I were an American, I would want to try and figure it out.

Tee - I believe I've read several reports that the rates of sexually active teens - or at least of teens having full intercourse - have gone down. But I can't rememeber the sources.

Edited to add: Xina, do we know for certain what Sarah Palin discussed with her daughter? The fact that she opposes comprehensive sex ed in schools does not necessarily imply that she would not discuss the issue with her daughters; perhaps she feels that this is a subject that should be handled by parents, so that they can decide what to emphasize and what not. I have no information on this so I'd rather not jump to conclusions. Also, I've read that Alaska does not mandate abstinence-only programs. Not sure if that's true.
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misty



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see any hypocrisy. If her daughter became pregnant and she encouraged her daughter to have an abortion, then she'd be a hypocrite. She seems to being living true to her beliefs.

I'm curious if the daughter ever considered abortion as an option. I don't think there is anything wrong with S. Palin deciding for herself what's right for her, but I don't agree with her views being forced on her daughter, or on the rest of the country.
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