You’ve probably seen all the coverage by now, but I’ll sum it up quickly.
Rumors were flying online that Sarah Palin’s youngest son, Trig, was actually her grandson. The allegations were that she had claimed he was hers to cover up for her 17-year-old daughter getting pregnant and to protect her political career. Some blogs went so far as to spin it as a psychotically self-promoting game to make herself look good and push the pro-life agenda by creating a perfect shield for her “radical and extreme anti-choice” views: how can you criticize a woman who chose to carry a child with Downs instead of aborting him?
The McCain campaign today put out official word that, yes, Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. She plans to carry the baby to term, parent the child, and marry the baby’s father. (Oh, and, by the way, she’s five months pregnant, so that would seem to lay to rest the idea that her four-month-old baby brother, Trig, is actually her son. Then again, Democrats are already ignorant of biology, since they think the baby is molded from just a “blob of tissue” into a human by passage through the birth canal and the magical influence of the mother wanting it to be human, so there’s no telling what they’ll come up with next.)
Some of the commentators, even on Fox, seem to be surprised by the conservative reaction. The few people they’ve talked to or quoted so far seem to take the, “Well, teenage pregnancy is never a good idea, but it is good that the baby is going to be allowed to live. Plus, the young couple seem to be taking responsibility for their actions and trying to do the right thing. They’re in our thoughts and prayers.”
Well, duh. Only in the fevered left-wing mind are pro-lifers rabid crazies strapping women down and forcing them to give birth, only to throw the woman and child into the gutter. “Pro-natalists,” they sneer. “You don’t care about the baby, you just want to force more births. Who’s going to pay for the baby’s college?”
When the abortion industry “wins” the argument with a pregnant woman considering abortion, they get about $600 and an unconscionable waver of any liability. The woman gets her baby dismembered and tossed in the trash, while she is kicked out the door with no counseling, no help, no hope except for more of the same poor choices and situations that brought her to the abortion clinic in the first place.
When a pro-lifer “wins” the argument with a woman considering abortion, the other side of the pro-life movement steps up. There are organizations to help women pursue child support from the baby’s father, help her find employment that will work with her during her pregnancy, free housing and support during the pregnancy, life skills training for a better future for her and her baby, and counseling to try to sort out what brought on this crisis and how to chart a better course for the future. Most of the money in the pro-life movement is channelled into these efforts to actually provide resources and support to mothers in crisis pregnancies, and then to help them fix what’s broken in their lives that left them thinking they had no options besides abortion. It isn’t flashy, it isn’t pretty, and there are very few celebrities touting the work, but it is there.
Governor Palin is being forced to deal very publicly with a very private family matter. It’s the dark nature of politics, and, to his credit, Senator Obama firmly answered questions on the subject with, “That issue is not on the table at all.” (or words to that effect; I forget the exact quote.) Governor Palin and her husband have obviously talked this over with their daughter and her boyfriend; they are again proving their pro-life credentials in a very difficult situation.
It would have been much easier for the Palins to have aborted their child with Downs; besides the issue of his disability, his mother was already busy as state governor and seemed to be a rising star in the Republican party. Since 90% of children with a Downs diagnosis are aborted, people would’ve accepted it. But the Palins didn’t abort Trig. They chose to practice privately what they’ve preached publicly on being pro-life.
The Palins could have pressured their daughter to abort their grandchild. The timing is inconvenient, the scandal could have political repercussions, the daughter is still only a teenager. But they didn’t. Yes, she didn’t listen when her parents told her to wait until marriage. (As if all teenagers do exactly what their parents tell them to and a disobedient teenager proves their parent’s unsuitability for political office. As if an affirming message of God’s love drove this young woman into sex, but a sex-saturated and obsessed culture, including the public schools’ sex ed, had nothing to do with it.)
The blogosphere is already off and running where even Obama feared to tread. “SEE?!? This is what happens when you don’t teach how to give oral sex and put on a condom to ten-year-olds! We told you so!” Ok, what they said was “comprehensive sex education”, but that’s what it means: Planned Parenthood’s curriculum for the sex ed it does in the public schools is called “It’s All Ok.” And they do mean everything is ok, and, by the way, “Your parents probably just have hang-ups about sex, so you probably can’t talk to them. But it’s ok; you can talk to us.” Oh, yeah; that would’ve helped a lot.
The problem comes down to this: Governor Sarah Palin scares liberals. She actually chose to have five kids, something that seems downright incomprehensible in some circles. She is a woman who has succeeded without caving in to the stereotype that only women willing to murder their own children (or others’) are strong enough to run for public office. Most feminists for the past fifty years or so have called abortion “critical” to women’s freedoms; Sarah Palin calls abortion murder. She has strong and consistent pro-life convictions.
If she’s for real, then the “abortion is freedom and all educated, liberated, and successful women encourage it” line will be shown as a lie on a very public, national stage.
And that is something that liberals must fight at all costs. They have staked their political reputation and personal morality on it. If it isn’t true, then they’ve been promoting (and committing) murder for no good reason for all these years. Who wants to face up to that? Much easier to dredge up Mr. Palin’s DUI (24 years ago), or insinuate that Governor Palin is involved in a nefarious cover-up of her daughter’s pregnancy, or yell that if only Governor Palin had pushed condom distribution in schools maybe her daughter wouldn’t be pregnant, or… um… hey, her father shot a bear and she still uses the bear skin!
When my husband and I were going through infertility treatments, we explained to family why we would not be doing many of the available treatments for ethical reasons. “You’re letting your morals get in the way of what you want!” we were angrily accused.
Isn’t that the whole point? Our morals and our pro-life convictions really count when the result will not be what we wanted. They really count when it’s hard, not when it’s easy or gives us the answer we already wanted.
It looks like Sarah Palin has made the committment to stick to her pro-life convictions, especially when it’s hard. That should be respected, even if you don’t agree with her convictions.
Unfortunately, in the twisted culture we live in, it will be used against her.