Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
The personal family trials of VP pick Sarah Palin should be off limits. Obviously the press has a right to report and discuss the pregnancy of her 17-year-old daughter Bristol, but hands off interviewing her, her friends and people surrounding her in a paparazzi-like frenzy.
That said, it’s still a legitimate discussion point, particularly because of Palin’s views on abstinence-only education.
Statistics (real ones, not the faked ones we get from the Bush administration) show that teens who get abstinence-only ed, instead of comprehensive sex ed (which always includes abstinence, as well as contraceptive and other alternatives) are just as likely to engage in sexual activity as their more educated counterparts, but of course less likely to know all the information that could prevent them from getting sick or pregnant.
A recent CDC report said that 1 in 4 girls has an STD (sexually transmitted disease). Another CDC report told us last year that abstinence-only was literally ineffective (information which the Bush administration tried to release as quietly as possible on a Friday).
Sadly, it seems that Sarah Palin’s daughter had become another statistic proving this point.
The right thing to do, the moral one, is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. I’m all for that. The route to do so, however, is not to lock your kids in a dark room blindfolded and hope they can trip and feel their way out on their own. I’ll say one thing - the McCain team is as opposed to real science and practical real-world solutions as the Bush administration has been. A fine legacy to take up if you ask me.
So I say let’s leave Bristol alone. However, her mother and her views on sex ed and a woman’s right to choose are totally fair game. And remember, the same right wingnuts who salivate over Palin and her family values are the ones who want to take contraceptives away - from consenting, even married, adults. Overturning Roe v Wade (which both McCain and Palin say they are for) overturns the reasoning for making bans on contraception unconstitutional.
And does anyone believe that McCain really knew about this? Of course he would say he did, even if he didn’t. “Uhhh…I meant to do that!” It’s like a comedy routine, only…it’s not funny.
All this, of course, shouldn’t overshadow Palin’s ethical troubles…which the McCain camp also says they knew about. Except they have now sent a campaign team to Alaska to, um, find out if there’s more to know. Oops!
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