Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Personal Becomes Political

I am Pro-Choice. I am seriously Pro-Choice. And I support every one's right to make whatever choices they need to make for themselves. I do not support people who want to impose their choices onto you (or me!).

So, let's talk about Sarah Palin. She's Pro-Life. She is seriously Pro-Life. She talks her talk and walks her walk. Despite knowing her youngest son would have Down Syndrome and being given the option to terminate, she chose to continue the pregnancy and has said that her son, Trig, is perfect. And honestly, having seen pictures of him, I'd say he's perfect too. He's one cute baby.

I do not think this makes her any better than anyone else. She is Pro-Life. What else could she have done? If you are Pro-Life, there really isn't any other option for you. I'm glad she's not a hypocrite. And I'm sure it was very difficult knowing the diagnosis and coming to terms with giving birth to a child with special needs. I assume there is a grieving process upon diagnosis, but I really have no idea as I have never been in that position.

The real question is: What would I do?
And the answer is: I have no idea. Since I am Pro-Choice, I could theoretically choose to terminate. That's where choice comes in.

Now, we find out that Palin's 17-year old daughter (unmarried) is pregnant. She is planning to marry the father of her baby. Given the family's Pro-Life credentials, this makes sense. Generations of girls who found themselves "in trouble" married the baby's father. It was expected. And generally, girls did not sleep with boys who couldn't be counted on to "do the right thing".

Also, given the Pro-Life credentials, she could place the child for adoption. Many a middle-class girl did that back in the day. By my mother's generation, there were not a ton of girls sent to "spend a summer with their aunts", but in the 10 or 20 years prior to her, many girls were sent away to have babies and place them for adoption. My mother, who found herself in a family way, married my father. It worked out OK. They divorced 13 years later, but they get along well now and their two children are functional, college-graduate adults who were married years before procreating. No cycle of unwed pregnancy was started.

I'm sure Bristol Palin can marry her baby's father, and they can all grow up to be healthy, successful adults.

I'm not even sure where I am going with this, but here it is. Half of the babies born in my county are born to unwed mothers. I imagine many more than that are conceived by unwed mothers. It's not exactly a national tragedy. And teenagers having sex isn't really news. And there is not much of a stigma left to unwed, teenage pregnancy, especially not if the girl marries the baby's father prior to birth. No story here. Nothing really to see here. Move along.

Even Barack Obama has noted that having a pregnant teenage daughter does not reflect on Gov. Palin's ability to govern. If anything, it says that they have a normal family life. Barack himself was born to an 18-year old mother. Dick Cheney has a gay daughter. Joe Biden has a son who is a lobbyist. People have families, and candidates really can't control the other members of their families to keep their image in line. When I read about Jenna Bush's recent wedding, I noted something that in previous generations would have been taboo hat these days isn't even an issue. He husband proposed to her while they were on vacation camping together in some mountains. No big deal to me. To previous generations, an unmarried young lady on a vacation trip camping(!) unchaperoned with a boy would have been big news.

Times change. Families can still embarrass you. Move along, nothing to see here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I completely agree with you - I tried to write my own post on this today, but you have phrased it much better than I could have done.

    The Broken man