sex ed, reproductive health care, abortion
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/0..._n_122924.htmlIn November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped.
Granting exceptions only if the mother's life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, "I would choose life."
At the time, her daughter was 14 years old. Moreover, Alaska's rape rate was an abysmal 2.2 times above the national average and 25 percent of all rapes resulted in unwanted pregnancies. But Palin's position was palatable within the state's largely Republican political circles.
Now that she's John McCain's vice presidential candidate, Palin's abortion policy (among others) is undergoing renewed scrutiny. The Alaska Republican has long declared herself pro-life. And her credentials on the topic make her the belle of the ball among religious conservatives. But Democrats and abortion rights advocates say her stance, specifically her unwillingness to grant her own child a choice to end a pregnancy induced by rape, is drastically at odds with public opinion -- even among many Republicans.
"This is absolutely outside the mainstream. Even in South Dakota they rejected [outlawing abortion in cases of rape] in '06 because it has gone too far and everyone can identify that in a case of rape or incest a woman should have the chance to make the decision with their family or doctor," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro Choice America. "Women voters are going to reject both her and John McCain, and I think we see it specifically because we reach out to Republicans and independent pro-choice women. They live in the suburbs and exurbs. They are very much part of the mainstream America. And woman in general will reject that ticket."
Palin makes no secret of her abortion views. A member of the group Feminists for Life, she told the Alaska Right to Life Board in 2002 that she "adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion." In an Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire filled out during the 2006 gubernatorial race, Palin again stated that she is against abortion unless a doctor determined that a mother's life would end due to the pregnancy.
"I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society," she wrote, "we cannot condone ending an innocent's life."
But it's not just abortion policy that has Democrats up in arms over Palin. In that same 2006 questionnaire, the soon-to-be governor said she would fund abstinence-only education programs in schools. "The explicit sex-ed programs," she added, "will not find my support." The stance, which reflected the priorities of the GOP, nevertheless led to an incredulous editorial in the Juneau Empire.
"Abstinence may be a laudable goal, but failing to educate teenagers about how to protect themselves from disease or unintended pregnancy is tragically misguided. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, abstinence-only programs do not reduce sexual activity, teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. Every day 10,000 U.S. teens contract a sexually transmitted disease, 2,400 get pregnant and 55 contract HIV. Unintended pregnancies happen to Republicans, Democrats and people of all faiths."
While Palin's positions have drawn the ire and concern of the pro-choice and progressive community, they are largely -- save abortions in the case of rape -- in line with John McCain's own stances. The Senator is against federal funding of birth control and sex education. He has called for the overturning of Roe v. Wade and received a zero rating from NARAL. Once, aboard the Straight Talk Express, McCain was asked if he supported the use of contraception or President Bush's abstinence-only education program to stem the spreading of AIDS.
"After a long pause, he said, 'I think I support the president's policy.' Does he believe that contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV? After another long pause, he replied, "You've stumped me."
I believe this issue is important to all American women and mothers.
One large fear I have of the McCain ticket is the eventual overturn of Roe V Wade. I'll post a poll to determine opinions on that among soapbox participants.
Last edited by SueW; 09-19-2008 at 02:19 PM.
Reason: addiding citation
I think her position is completely understandable - she and many other believe abortion is murder. Of course she cannot support murder of what she believes to be an innocent baby. If you start with accepting that they REALLY BELIEVE it is murder, how can anyone expect them to NOT be completely against abortion ? How could anyone with any morality at all support murder in any case ?
I'm not pro-life - I think there is some time between conception and the first 6-8weeks where I do not feel like it is murder. So I'm ok with abortion for ANY reason then. After that - I'm not ok with it for ANY reason (except the life of the mother).
I did read an article in TIME a month or so ago that talked about how scientist believe that live begins at conception - just like the pro-life people do. But whether is is true or not, doesn't change my opinion.
I used to be a STRONG conservative, as I've aged, I'm definately a moderate - closest to a libertarian. I'll never vote for any ticket that is that strong on pro-life. It is my one "one-issue" vote.
ITA. I have no problem with people personally believing that life begins at conception, that it's a baby from the very moment it's conceived. For people who do believe that it's a baby, what difference could it/should it make that the baby was conceived via rape or incest? It's either a baby or it's not... it's either murder or it's not... how it came to be doesn't make it NOT a baby.
Originally Posted by ahava
What I do have a problem with is those people expecting everyone else to share that belief and basing legislation on it.
We base legislation on our beliefs all the time.
Motorcycle helmet laws, speeding laws, even suicide. We don't allow people to commit suicide, even though they are only harming themselves. We have a moral belief in this country that life is worth saving. Some believe *all* human life and some believe only after a certain time frame.
Originally Posted by maryellen
Of course people will make legislation and vote according to their beliefs. What else will they base their decisions on?
My issue isn't her stance on pro-life, thought it is a fear that we are one SC away from overturning Roe V Wade.
My issues are her abstinence only stand, her desire to remove sex ed and not providing bc. I am completely opposite her on all of these accounts. I'll give her the abstinence only for her family and even the birth control. However, I want my children and the people they date to have sex education. If she is open to providing alternate theories in school (i.e evolutionary, creationism, etc) than this should be another theory that is presented. Just sayin'.
She has every right to her opinion.
Just as we all do. Whether the American people agree with her or not will be decided in November.
My biggest issue with your statement - and probably the reason we're divided on this - is that you believe this issue is only important to women and mothers. Every child has 2 parents. So, it's important to men and fathers, too.
Originally Posted by SueW
Well yes... but when things aren't so black and white, I don't think one group's beliefs should trump another's. Those who believe life begins at conception should not be allowed to tell those who don't share that belief what they can or can't do with their bodies. I can understand why they'd WANT to, I just don't think they should be able to.
Originally Posted by HethD
You added one word to my statement that changes the meaning
Originally Posted by HethD
I did NOT say this issue was "only" important to women and mothers - you added that word and twisted my meaning and my belief. I DO NOT believe this issue is important ONLY to women and mothers and didn't say that. But on this board, we ARE women and we ARE mothers - thus it is important to us. I am fully aware that children have, in most cases, two parents and that the issue is also important to men and fathers, I just haven't seen one post here.
* and I hope it is not our agreement or disagreement with Sarah Palin's views on abortion that are decided in November - there is a lot more at stake than that.
Not to contradict you, but I know at least one father reads and posts on this board....me.
Originally Posted by SueW
On some level I understand what you are saying, but on some level I don't.
Originally Posted by maryellen
On some level I lean libertarian, which would suggest that its just plain not the government's role to make such a judgment in any case, be it abortion, helmets, seatbelts, etc. Its the government, after all, not your dad.
But if a person believes that to kill it is it murder, regardless of how it came to exist, how could they possibly sit on their hands and say that if you don't believe its murder then its okay for you to commit murder. Its not like a belief that causes no harm, such as belief in a Creator, for example. If you don't believe it a Creator, that's your right. If you don't believe the baby is alive, a baby still dies. But I'm supposed to be okay with that because you don't believe it. Truthfully I don't know how anybody is okay with that, other than to push it to the back of their minds and say 'not my problem'. I know that there are many people who profess to believe that its a baby, and that its alive, but it doesn't have a right to live. Its okay for the mom to kill it if that's what the mom wants to do because its her choice. Its hard for me comprehend that stance.
The whole topic is perplexing, because of other issues, also. What if the dad doesn't want to kill it? (Dad has no rights) What if someone else causes it to die during the commission of a crime? (That person can be charged with the baby's death) What if the mom harms it by taking drugs? (Mom can be charged with the injury.) These issues, and others, make it hard for me to see a consistent legal belief on the issue.