You don’t have to go far to find anyone expressing an opinion on Sarah Palin’s pregnant-and-unwed 17-year-old daughter. I’m mostly amused to see how certain groups of people seem to have shifted from their traditional stances on this information. I mean, if Chelsea Clinton, who is much older than 17, were to announce she were pregnant out of wedlock, I’m sure we’d have had a lot of left-leaning folks spouting a lot of rhetoric about a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body and reproductive processes, and a lot of right-leaning folks spewing forth vile declarations of how this is not an example of family values and how it would make Hilary Clinton unfit for public office. Alas, the tables are turned around and upside down.
Anyone who has read my blog previously knows that I support very firmly a woman’s right – nay, duty – to act responsibly. I also advocate this very strongly for men. And I don’t restrict it exclusively sexual conduct and reproduction.
Thus, I have constructed the following little dialog with the little pundits running around in my head:
Do you believe a woman have a right to make her own decisions about her body and reproductive processes?
Yes. But I believe she has to make responsible decisions, and that means the decision to employ contraceptive methods and/or devices if she does not plan on becoming pregnant. And that also means the decision NOT to have sex in the first place.
Do you believe a pregnant-and-unwed (it’s pretty much one word now, have you noticed?) 17-year-old is an expression of family values?
I think “family values” is an ill-defined buzz word developed for the sake of punishing those whose values are not in alignment with one’s own; as such, I think the question is foolish.
OK, so do you believe a 17-year-old has the right to get pregnant even if she’s not married?
Sure, so long as she’s mature enough to think of others before herself (which, after all, is one of the hallmarks of maturity) and that she has the means — physical, emotional, and financial — to raise the baby. Unfortunately, for most 17-year-old girls today, that wouldn’t be the case.
So, are you saying that Sarah Palin’s daughter should have an abortion?
While I don’t believe any woman’s abortion is the business of anyone except herself, her God, and her doctor, I personally don’t believe in abortion as a means of retroactive birth control. And it’s a fallacy to think that the only options here are abortion or raising the child herself.
So, are you suggesting a pregnant-and-unwed 17-year-old shouldn’t get married?
If she and/or the father of the child aren’t mature enough to get married, then they should not get married and they should offer the child for adoption. It’s likely the best choice for all parties concerned, and that includes the baby-to-come.
Doesn’t all of this suggest Sarah Palin shouldn’t be running for public office?
But, she’s a hypocrite! She goes on and on about family values, and here she doesn’t have a strong enough relationship with her daughter to keep her daughter from getting pregnant out of wedlock?
That only makes her human. Look, if Sarah Palin’s daughter weren’t pregnant we wouldn’t even be questioning her parenting skills or suggesting she’s a hypocrite when it comes to family values. The daughter would still be sexually active, and we’d be none the wiser. It’s sort of like George W’s daughter who got married fairly recently – I’m sure she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night, but no one really thinks about that because it’s none of our business.
Oh, so that makes you a McCain-Palin supporter!
Nope. It makes me a person in charge of my own opinions.