Bristol Tells Her Story

by NeW Staff on February 17, 2009 · 0 comments

In a recent interview with Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, daughter of Alaska’s Governor, Bristol Palin, said that teen abstinence was really not “realistic.” However, Bristol also acknowledged the hardships of having a child and said she wants to advocate against teen pregnancy. She made it clear having her baby was not forced by her family:

“(It) doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision, and I wish people would realize that, too.”

What does this interview say about abstinence, pregnancy, the youth culture? Bristol’s pregnancy is not an isolated incident; so many teens find themselves in similar situations. Seeing from Bristol’s own perspective, she recognizes the difficulties of parenthood and how having a baby brought her to the real world prematurely. At the time same time, her statements about abstinence are telling about our current culture. In her words, she believes that the youth culture is accepting of teen sex.

With all eyes on her, Bristol managed to articulate current cultural trends and the views of teens about the efficacy of the abstinence approach, while at the same time, she expressed the realities of being a teen mother. What lessons can we take away from Bristol’s appearance and her honesty about the difficulties of having a child? How can we work to support women like Bristol who carry their babies to term, while at the same time recognize the problems in our culture that encourage sexual promiscuity? Women like Bristol should be lauded for having their babies in spite of difficult circumstances. At the same time, I think there is value in acknowledging the problematic trend of the teen generation being so accepting of casual sex and working to change it.

To watch the video of the interview, click here.

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