Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Making the Best of the Bad: Sarah Palin's Daughter's Pregnancy

Gov. Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant out of wedlock. This is wrong, since sex should be reserved for marriage.

This is Sarah Palin's statement:

Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support. Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy, as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.

Consider what the family did right:

1. The girl went to her parents instead of having an abortion.
2. The girl will marry the father, thus giving the child a biological family. This could only be done with the support of the parents. (Giving up unexpected children for adoption can sometimes we the right thing to do; abortion is always the wrong thing.)
3. This is another indicator that the Palin's are pro-life when it counts: keeping a Downs baby and keeping an unexpected pregnancy.

Compare the Palin's approach with Obama's comment that he wants abortion safe and legal because he wouldn't want one of his daughters to be "punished with a pregnancy" if they conceived out of wedlock.

It's a fallen world. Good families have difficult problems due to sinful choices. My estimation of Sarah Palin has not dropped one bit. I am further moved to support and pray for her and her family.


Jeremy said...

It's not a good thing to have happen, but it's not the end of the world for that girl either. My mother had me when she was 17, and both of us turned out fine.

We often lament about the difficulties of raising children when we want to thwart a teenagers sexual endeavors. While it is *hard* raising kids (I know; I have two), it can be done. On the flip side, we need to be careful not to lament too hard. It seems to me that such scare tactics could backfire, showcasing babies as life-sucking vampires instead of divine blessings.

We don't want to scare them in to Planned Parenthood (after all, what do you do with vampires--you kill them)!

Tom said...

As you know, Doug, I typically come at things from a different angle than you do. But I certainly agree that the fact that her daughter is pregnant shouldn't be counted against Palin, and that her daughter should be applauded for keeping the baby.

Still, I can't imagine making the decision to be McCain's running mate if I were in Palin's situation, knowing that if I accept McCain's offer, my pregnant teenager will become a national issue. That's asking an awful lot from a kid who already has a lot to deal with. The fact that she's a "family values" candidate makes her decision at least ironic.

David said...

My wife and I have been reflecting on Palin's decision to run for VP. At some level, it seems strange given current family circumstances. For one thing, she has a newborn with Downs syndrome, who will become more difficult to raise in future years.

And now she has a teenage daughter who is pregnant out of wedlock, who will need the family's full support as she adapts to this change in lifestyle.

Of course, the decision is a personal one and it's not my position to judge...but I can't imagine facing such challenges while campaigning nationwide and possibly serving as the nation's VP.

And to be clear, I'm not even invoking the traditional view that a woman is best suited to care for and nurture the family. So my concerns would apply to a male candidate in similar circumstances as well.

I just wonder if the Palin family is biting off more than it can chew. Would it be better for them if she stepped out of the race? Again, it's really not for me to decide, but I'm pretty sure how I would react to the situation.

Jeremy said...

Speaking from an entirely political point of view, I'm not so sure that stepping out of the race would be the right decision. She does and will have a lot to deal with, but there is some political capital to be had by all of this. We have a woman who has to deal with all of life's trouble in the midst of an extremely challenging career. For most people, stepping out of work isn't an option. Thus, staying in the race may highlight her tenacity and dedication to both country and family.

As far as I can tell, she is the contemporary "every-woman." It could draw a lot of women voters. Besides, it puts the Obama campaign on tricky terrain. They can't come out hard against her. They'll look like Dan Quayle going after Murphy Brown--except they're supposed to be the party of Murphy Brown. Can they really say her daughter should have had an abortion? I don't think that would square well. Nor can they say anything about the Downs baby. The best they've got is "this is going to take a lot of work and may be a distraction." While that may be justified, her ability to pull it all off could do good things.

As for what's actually best for her family--she probably should have never gotten into politics in the first place, but that goes without saying.

Jim Jordan said...

trying to spin any of Palin's personal issues to their advantage will be like a Pandora's box for the Left. McCain knows this, just as he knew all of these things prior to choosing her. The far Left showed its hypocrisy with their treatment of Hillary Clinton. Why let them stop there?

David said...


Your points are well taken. There is obviously much to be gained from her remaining in the race. I would just wonder at what point it's not worth it. Perhaps my breaking point is different than hers. Just raising the issue here. Thanks for chiming in.

a said...

Well said. Liberals will want to lambast the bastard child, but at the end of the day it was her daughter's choice. Not Palin's.

Will she be a martyr? Will the public place this bastard child on the altar of abortion rights and the right to life? I hope so, and more importantly, I hope that this bastard child will galvanize the public into recognizing that although this is a bastard child, that it is not a vote, but a child.

A bastard child is still a child, and a grandmother can still become president.

Will she be able to effectively govern. That question is irrelevant if she can stop the death-party.

I decided to do what any good Christian would...

Becky Vartabedian said...

This post popped up this morning: New Palin details may help, not hurt.

It lends some credence the "Pandora's Box" theory Jim Jordan refers to.

Anita and Bruce Hensley said...

Actually, now I want to vote for Palin for President.

Rob said...

We are engaged in a similar, if more light-hearted, discussion over on SuperChurchLady's blog. I was struck by what a truly horrible job we ask our political leaders to take on. What person in their right mind would consider making a personal sacrifice like this? I'm not sure whether to applaud Sara Palin or call for a straitjacket.

Kevin Winters said...

"abortion is always the wrong thing"

What about cases where birth will *very* likely bring the death of the mother?

Kevin Winters said...

So no one here has an issue with Palin exploiting their daughter (or their daughter exploiting herself) for political gain?

David said...


I don't particularly care for this business of determining how the daughter's pregnancy could benefit Palin's candidacy. And I seriously doubt the Palin family is thinking of the situation in such terms. That kind of attitude would clearly be inappropriate.

Obviously I can't speak for others, but when I admitted there is much to be gained by her remaining in the race, I specifically refer to her positive qualities as a potential VP, independent of any current family issues.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Exploiting her daughter? That is absurd. It is still shameful for Christians to have daughters that fornicate and get pregnant out of wedlock.

Tom said...

Doug wrote: "Exploiting her daughter? That is absurd."

Hyperbole, yes, but not absurd. Palin's decision to accept the VP position on the GOP ticket came with her full knowledge that her 17 -year-old daughter's pregnancy would become an international story. It's hard to think that Palin had her daughter's best interest in mind. Family values, indeed.

David said...

Oh boy, here we go.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Tom: Why assume the worst about "a sister in Christ," as you accused me of doing with Hillary some time ago. One hopes it was a family decision.

Tom said...


Fair enough. Maybe it was a family decision and I'm not getting something. But as the father of an 18 year old girl, I just can't see how my spouse or even my daughter could convince me that it was in my daughter's best interest for me to take a position that required me to put my daughter's unintended pregnancy in the international news.

Tom said...

One more thing: I've never suggested that Palin isn't a sincere, true Christian. I'm puzzled by her values and choice as a parent, but we all make mistakes and none of them disqualify us from being followers of Christ.

Kevin Winters said...

Why is it absurd? As Tom said, she went into this knowing that she would be putting her daughter out on the international stage and would almost certainly put her in a place to be ridiculed and insulted, again with an international audience. Yet, apparently, some think she can and has 'played it up' for a 'positive spin.' How is that not exploiting her daughter's situation for political gain?