Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Knocked up is not knocked out

I awoke on Saturday to my wife’s version of the initial Sarah Palin rumor, that she had hidden her daughter Bristol’s pregnancy and taken the child to raise as her own. This scenario, which is played out on many television shows, most recently, “Desperate Housewives” is so familiar to the American people that it seemed plausible to many. Especially  so when combined with the Governor’s story that she went into labor before making a speech in Dallas, made the speech and then flew back to Alaska on a commercial airline, while in labor, to have the baby. Not a lot of folks elect to get on an airplane for a ten hour flight  while in labor. As it turns out, of course, Bristol Palin, teenage daughter of Her Honor is pregnant by a kid who looks like he might work at an Anchorage Safeway. Rumors die hard however, when I confronted my wife with the fact that Bristol was going to have a baby she replied, “Sure, her second one.”


Putting aside the biological odds against this happening, it shows just how much a politically motivated person like my wife is willing to believe in the heat of the campaign. Especially a person who probably saw this happen numerous times on “All My Children” and so  does not look upon the story as particularly unusual. The fact of the matter is that this is a “dog bites man story”, three out of every ten  teens in this country get pregnant every year, with 90% of the pregnancies being unplanned. I assume  that the teen pregnancy rate is higher in Alaska where the nights are six months long. Think about it. It’s pitch dark and 25 below, what else have these kids got to do ?


Having said all of this, these Palin gals are certainly the poster children for the Right to Life movement. Here, within a few months they are given two chances at an abortion that, if statistics are to be believed, a good majority of the American people would understand, and they elect to carry the babies to term. One thing we can say about Governor Palin, she is no hypocrite.


In the end, this is a non-issue in a political campaign. There will be enough questions about the viability of Governor Palin as a candidate without getting down into the mud and slinging same over an issue that only  matters to Republicans anyway. Democrats all believe in free love, albeit with effective contraception. It would be pretty nervy of them to use it as an issue when their own candidate’s mother gave birth to him at the ripe old age of 18. Being the father of an 18 year old daughter, I am not insensitive to the Palin’s feelings on this, and I hope and assume that the story will go away.


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