It’s Time to Stop Just Saying No

I have written here at length on how I feel about abstinence only sex education. I believe deeply and passionately in the importance of educating young men and women about birth control and the absolute need to insure that  we do everything we can to reduce the number of unplanned/unwanted pregnancies in this country.  Objective studies have over and over again proven that abstinence only sex education has not been effective in reducing teen sexual activity or unplanned/unwanted teen pregnancies.

Governor Sarah Palin has been a lifelong advocate of abstinence only sex education. Clearly it has not worked in her own home. My heart goes out to  her seventeen year old daughter. Dare I say that perhaps had she felt she could have turned to her parents for open, honest communication about sexual activity that she might not be faced with motherhood at the age of seventeen, and marriage on top of that. 

Ms. Palin and many of her “conservative” supporters rally around the “pro-life” cause to the extent that they may well be considered a one-cause voting base. It is time that everyone realize that arguing about Roe V Wade and abortion is for naught. Not a single republican president or House/Senate lead by republicans has done one thing to overturn Roe V. Wade or to reduce the number of abortions in this country. They haven’t and they won’t. Neither will the democrats. Maybe it’s time to listen to voices like that of  Senator Obama who say that, while we may disagree about abortion policy , we can all agree that we need to work toward reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.

Too late for the Palin family, but not for countless other young people who need to know that if they cannot abstain from sexual activity (the best choice for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases) there are choices other than parenthood and marriage. The answer is in educating our young people and talking talking talking and then listening listening listening.

And this makes me wonder- can we truly believe that the McCain camp sufficiently vetted Governor Palin? I find it impossible to believe that Senator McCain, his advisors, and specifically his far right conservative party members, would have allowed Governor Palin’s selection in light of this recent news.  This speaks of Senator McCain’s decision making skills at the very least, and to Governor Palin’s honesty and willingness to put “Country First.” Had she truly had the best interests of the nation and the office of the VP and that of the Presidency in her mind (and not that of her own rising star), then she would have made this information clear from day one.

And, speaking as a mother, if she were the uber-mom she portrays herself to be, she would not be  running for Veep. She’d say family first, country second, and right now my family needs me.   And YES, I would expect the same of a man in the same position.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/01/palins-17-year-old-daughter-is-pregnant/?hp

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