If Abstinence Ed Can't Keep Sarah Palin's Daughter Off the Cock, What Hope Is There For Other Kids?
By Dan Savage
Tuesday, September 9th 2008 at 03:02pm
The 17-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, the GOP's vice-presidential nominee, is pregnant. The news was released by the McCain campaign during a busy news week—a major hurricane, the Republican National Convention, Dick Cheney getting us into a war with Russia—so it may not have received the coverage it deserved. So allow me to bring you up to date, gentle readers . . .
Seventeen-year-old Bristol Palin got her ass knocked up five or so months ago by 18-year-old Levi Johnston. Among the hobbies listed on Levi's since-yanked MySpace page—"fishing, shoot some shit, and just fuckin' chillin' "—was this revealing tidbit: "I don't want kids." But Bristol, says her mom, "made the decision on her own to keep the baby," and is now engaged to Levi "Shootin' Shit" Johnston.
As the adoptive parent of a child born to a pair of unwed teenagers, I'm certainly not in favor of abortion in all circumstances. But I believe that it's a choice teenagers should be able to make for themselves—with input from their families whenever possible—and, so it seems, does the GOP's VP nominee. Sarah Palin is pleased that her daughter "made the decision"—on her own—to keep the baby.
But Sarah Palin doesn't believe that other girls should be able to make their own decisions. Sarah Palin believes that abortion should be illegal in almost every instance—including rape and incest. So Bristol Palin is being celebrated for making a choice that Sarah Palin would like to take away from all other American women. Apparently, today's GOP believes that choice is a special right reserved for the wayward daughters of Republican-elected officials.
Oh, and Sarah Palin also believes that birth control shouldn't be made available to teenagers, she opposes medically accurate sex education, and she backs abstinence-until-marriage sex "education."
The GOP has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into abstinence "education" programs during the Bush years. I believe this enormous investment of public funds begs the obvious question: Are our children abstaining? Sarah Palin's isn't. Despite this massive outlay on the part of the American taxpayer and the example set by her Christian parents, Bristol Palin became sexually active while still in high school. Excuse me, but if abstinence education can't keep the daughter of the evangelical governor of Alaska off the cock, what hope is there for the daughters—and some of the sons—of average Americans?
I'm a cad for even writing this, of course, because shortly before Bristol and Levi were paraded before cheering throngs at the Republican National Convention, the Palins asked the media to respect their daughter's privacy.
Another special right: When it comes to respecting your family's privacy, Palin and the GOP see no need. They want to micro-manage the most intimate aspects of your private life. And if their own kids fail to live up to the standards that Palin and the GOP seek to impose on your family, well, that's a private matter between the Palins, their daughter, their God, and the thousands of screaming imbeciles in elephant hats waving McCain/Palin signs on the floor of the Republican National Convention.