Tales from the Trail

Bristol Palin urges teens to abstain from sex

May 6, 2009

Nearly a year after becoming the most celebrated pregnant, unmarried teenager in the United States, Bristol Palin is launching off on a campaign to encourage teens NOT to have sex to avoid getting pregnant.USA-POLITICS/PALIN

After shying away from the spotlight since her mother Sarah — John McCain’s vice presidential running mate — announced that her then 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, Bristol did a series of interviews today to announce explain her plans.

“Regardless of what I did personally, I just think that abstinence is the only way that you can effectively, 100 percent foolproof way to prevent pregnancy,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, while avoiding a direct answer to a question about how she ended up expecting.

“I want to go out there and promote abstinence and just say – this is the safest choice. This is going to prevent teen pregnancy and prevent a lot of heartache,” she said. “Learn from my example.”

Asked if she thought her pregnancy was a mistake she said on NBC’s “Today Show” about her son Tripp: “He’s not a mistake, he’s a blessing. But it’s just a lot of work, a lot of responsibility … it’s not like an accessory on your hip, it’s hard work.”

Palin said telling her parents she was pregnant was “harder than labor” and one of the most difficult things she ever had to do.

“I hope that me speaking out now will prevent girls from having to do that in the future.”

Bristol declined to give any details about her relationship with Tripp’s father, Levi Johnston, who has made his own circuit of the television chat shows in recent weeks.

 

 

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Photo credit: REUTERS/John Gress (Bristol Palin holds her baby brother Trig at campaign event last year)

Comments
10 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Good for her to want to help others avoid such a life changing event. Good for her she took responsibility for this rather than to punish the blameless child and aborting it.

I think the interviewer from Good Morning America needs to go back to school because everyone knows how a person “ends up expecting”.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

hmmmm.. the last time she spoke out about this, just a month or so ago, she said abstinence was “not realistic”.

a miraculous change of heart, or is Bristol’s Mommy ‘housecleaning’ yet again? You decide.

Posted by sf | Report as abusive
 

sf…it’s called perspective. She’s obviously now realized that taking care of a baby is a lot harder than being abstinent. Are you a mother? She’s a teenager…seriously.

Posted by momof3 | Report as abusive
 

Despite its record of failure, conservatives continue to beat the drum for abstinence-only education. In a February interview with Fox News’ chief Sarah Palin cheerleader Greta Van Susteren, Bristol candidly said that abstinence is “not realistic at all.” Now she’s their new spokesmom for abstinence?

The reason Republicans are putting Bristol up to this is that they are angry that “essential” abstinence education funding had been “eliminated” from Obama’s recovery and reinvestment bill. Well, THEIR abstinence ONLY education funding has been eliminated, and it should be, because it does not work. Bristol Palin is living proof.

The way the GOP is exploiting this young woman to push their agenda is beyond cynical. Bristol should have the protection of her family and not be paraded around as a platform. Seriously. I respect her choice to have her baby. I applaud her choice to dump her loser boyfriend. I know her family loves her and will support her.

But taking further advantage of her, telling her what to think, and then sending her out onto the public stage tp push an agenda that is so clearly wrongheaded for politics is unacceptable.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

We tell people not to drink and drive. No one says this message is unrealistic, even for an alcoholic, especially when the media supports it.
However our media culture bombards teens with messages glorifying sex and in fact, frequently making fun of teens and adults who refrain from sex as though this is a key measure of a person’s worth. For teens who tend to be unduly influenced by peer pressure and the culture, this message does make it very difficult to abstain.
Unfortunately, the ideology of “free sex” as long as it is “safe” does not create lasting joy, instead it causes great emotional and social damage.
“Safety” measures can (and do) fail, leading to unplanned pregnancies which end up in abortions or single parenthood (our culture of “it’s the woman’s choice” really means “it’s the woman’s problem” and far too many men have no concern for the consequences and abandon their responsibilities).
On the emotional side, I recently saw a mural in a restaurant stating, “Love as though you’ve never been hurt before”. How many people in this day and age have NOT had their hearts ripped out when a sexual relationship ended because they thought the other person really loved them in return? This makes it all the harder to form a loving, stable and lasting relationship in the future.
Pre-marital sex also frequently “glues” incompatible people together and after a few years of marriage the sex can not hold them together leading to devastating results all involved, especially the children.
When a relationship is founded on sex, how can a person truly know that their heart is safe? If people actually waited until they knew they loved each other so much that they wanted (and could) spend the rest of their lives together (and were willing to make it official), a lot of unhappiness and pain would be prevented.
The media, our schools and our government should focuse on this message instead (or at least respect people who try to live this way) to help encourage teens and young adults to wait.

Posted by cp | Report as abusive
 

getplaning. Once again, you make many tenuous assertions. You have an opinion, but hardly one based on fact. Are you a mind reader? That’s the only obvious choice when it comes to your assertions.

It is so easy to make this into an evil republican/good democrat argument, but you can’t see into Bristol’s heart. You don’t know her or know her reasons for doing this. Also, it might surprise you that she is thinking for herself.

As always, I don’t expect any better from a left wing nut.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

tc, getplaning should be given credit for” respecting her choice to have the baby”this is not normally the intolerance that we have come to expect from the rabid left.the hatred against the palin family in partly because neither her or her mother followed the progressive way, and aborted their babies.if prejean(miss californa had also said that although she was against gay marriage she was pro choice in the support of abortions she would have had very little opposition.it,s all political dogma.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

You’re right, tc. Bristol Palin’s becoming the spokesgirl for abstinence (shortly after telling the world that she was living proof abstinence is not realistic) has nothing to do with her mother’s politics.

I find it interesting that you would call someone a ‘nut’ for showing some obvious common sense.

No one is saying abstinence is evil. I actually agree w/ (almost) everything that cp here said. But, unfortunately, Bristol was speaking from her heart before she was turned into a puppet. It’s not realistic.

Teenagers are going to have sex. They did it before this ‘media culture’ & will be doing it long after. So the real punishment is not educating them & providing them with safe alternatives to spreading disease & creating an abortion scenario.

Posted by sf | Report as abusive
 

Abstinence from sex for teens is obviously a good idea, it’s an emotional thing that most teens are not ready to handle. Having said that, the idea that abstinence only should be relied upon as form of birth control is ridiculous.
Having been a teen myself (very long ago) I can tell you that abstinence was the last thing on my mind. Expecting a teen to ignore the prime biological directive (make more humans) is setting them up for failure. If Bristol Palin had been on the pill or her boyfriend had worn a condom we wouldn’t be having this debate now would we?
Let’s not forget that condoms prevent more than pregnancy, imagine what the reaction would have been if (God forbid) Ms Palin had to come out and say she had AIDS or it had come to light that she had some other STD. I bet she wouldn’t be on the morning show circuit with that news.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive
 

This young lady says to “Learn from my example”. Her example appears to be: have unprotected sex, get pregnant, have a baby that “is a blessing”, get tremendous social support from your family and go on tv. I would imagine that any teens that heard Bristol’s message of practicing abstinance would hardly be pursuaded by her “do as I say and not how I do (did)” message that only strains her credibility. It’s a shame that Bristol is wasting her time and any influence she might have on this issue. I think that she would be a potent advocate for all of the unwed mothers who desperately need one. However, I doubt her family would even consider allowing that.

Posted by kb | Report as abusive
 

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