Bristol Tells Her Story

February 17, 2009 | NeW Staff

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

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

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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