Move over, Bristol! There’s another Palin family pregnancy scandal afoot and - dare I say it? - it’s going to create more waves than yours did.
Two months ago, 22 year-old Track Palin, eldest child of Sarah and Todd, married 21 year-old Britta Hanson in an intimate family gathering. Fast forward to the present day when pictures surfaced on Facebook of Britta surrounded by gifts at her baby shower, looking to be firmly in her third trimester of pregnancy. How good are you guys at math?
Looks like Mama Grizzly, gun-slinging woman that she is, whipped her shotgun out on this one.
In case you just crawled out of a hobbit hole, let me bring you up to speed. Sarah and her 20 year-old daughter Bristol, who became a single mother at the age of 18, are fierce advocates of abstinence. Bristol currently serves as an “abstinence ambassador” for the Candie’s Foundation, and often speaks vehemently about abstinence at various public events. Sarah has spoken against sex education and in favor of abstinence-only education in schools, to summarize the very least. There, all caught up.
So, since the Palin family continues to ignore the elephant in the room, I’ll go ahead and throw it out there: How well is this whole abstinence-only thing workin' for ya?
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to be abstinent until marriage. I’d also argue that there’s nothing wrong with choosing to be sexually active before marriage, as long as you and your partner are well-versed on the various methods of pregnancy prevention and understand how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. Both, let me emphasize, are personal opinions.
But it seems that, while other advocates might have more luck, Sarah Palin has shot herself in the foot big time, and won’t be able to back out of this one so easily. One of your children has a child out of wedlock? That’s a fluke! Two of your children? That’s more like a pattern. And if the biggest piece of evidence you have that abstinence-only education is a good idea is that not one, but two, of your children conceived babies while unmarried? Well, that’s what we young people would call an “epic fail.”
For my part, I hope Sarah wises up after this. I hope she learns that there are worse things than educating our young people (who will, by and large, be having premarital sex) about sex. Worse things like: teaching our young people that their bodies and their sexuality is something to be ashamed of. Worse things like: parents ignoring issues that they should discuss with their children. Worse things like: pregnancies in young people who are unprepared, unable, and unwilling to put in the time and effort it takes to be good parents. And worse things like: young people spreading and contracting diseases like HIV.
In the end, I wish the best for Track Palin and Britta Hanson. Unplanned pregnancies can happen to anyone. Unfortunately for them, they happen to have an uber-vocal and infamously conservative family with a history of abstinence-preaching and pregnancy drama to compound their already difficult situation. While the irony is ultimately Sarah's to bear, it's no less trying for them.
Whether or not they chose to get married of their own accord or were forced into it by their families, I hope they will prove to be committed, loving and responsible parents to their child. I hope they can juggle the stresses of parenthood with the glare of the Palin spotlight, and I hope they can keep their priorities in line. Oh, and I hope their relationship fares better than Bristol and Levi Johnston’s did but that’s a whole ‘nother story.