03 September 2008

HERE'S WHY BRISTOL PALIN'S PREGNANCY IS POLITICALLY RELEVANT

Because her mom, Sarah Palin, candidate for vice president of the United States, as governor of Alaska, cut state funding for teen pregnancy programs.

Because her mom has strongly opposed sex education in public schools - something that has been shown over and over again to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy.

Because her mom has strongly opposed access to information on contraception, as well as contraception itself, to teenagers.

Because her mom is opposed to legal abortion, even in circumstances such as pregnancy resulting from rape or where a continued pregnancy threatens the life of the pregnant woman.

Need I also point out that less funding for teen pregnancy programs, lack of sex education and lack of information about and/or access to contraception all result in more abortions, not fewer abortions.

Sure, I feel bad for Bristol Palin and the young fellow who is no doubt being herded into a shotgun wedding. What they are going through ought to be a family matter and none of the rest of our business. What they do about their problems should be their own personal choice.

But it is our business for the very reason that Sarah Palin wants to create a world in which none of us have the personal choice to deal with these same sorts of problems in the way that we want to. She wants a world in which these problems crop up more frequently, not less so, because she lives in some fantasy Christian world in which faith and "morality" trump reason, logic and practicality.

Now that she is the Republican candidate for vice president, running with the oldest man to ever run for president, her medieval, ignorant nonsense cannot simply be dismissed as a matter of her, and her family's, personal choice. It is not merely the lunatic raving of some nutjob religious crank on a street corner; or even the silly notions of the ill-informed soccer mom next door. It is something that could have a very real impact on every one of us.

I feel bad for Bristol Palin. I feel bad for her because she was raised in "the bosom of a loving Christian family" that did its best to keep her in the dark about the real choices that all people ought to be able to make for themselves in an informed manner. Now that family is having to deal with the real world consequences of their ignorance. And the fact that they are, and that Bristol's mom wants to be elected to within a fast-aging heartbeat of the most powerful job on the planet, seems pretty damn relevant to me.

2 comments:

Lorri Amsden said...

loved your comments about the palin situation...you are so-o-o- right on. can't wait to discuss this when you come for your signing in oct.

L said...

Very good points Eric. I take issue with Palin's lack of interest in and lack of experience in international issues. Apparently she only got her passport last year, specifically to visit Iraq. And she has been quoted in interviews as saying that her focus on Alaska's issues has prevented her from being involved with what's going on in Iraq. I hope the polls are not an accurate forecaster of what we are in for come November. She's apparently done wonders for the McCain team and brought in the Christians and women voters.
Leonie