Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin's Abortion Stance

Dear Gentle Reader(s), there might be a problem for Gov. Palin vis-a-vis her stance on sex education and, by extension, reproductive rights for women.

We have this from Politico's Ben Smith's Blog:

Q: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
SP: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

What, in real terms does that question and answer mean? It means that the Governor supports abstinence-until-marriage to the exclusion of sex-ed programs (what does explicit really mean--sounds like a vague, red-meat-for-the-evangelical crowd--no surprise, the question was posed by Eagle Forum Alaska; EF's most famous proponent is Phyllis Schlafley--'nuff said).

If that's the governor's position, there's nothing wrong with it, although it does seem a tad unrealistic. Anyone who has been a teen who was a teen prior to marriage (anyone you know, DGR(s)?) might think it's a bit unreasonable. Certainly school teachers who work with post-pubescent teens might look askance.

What would be the governor's response to those who might question the efficacy of such a program? Actually, in the light of the current brouhaha with a close relative of the governor, we might safely assume that someone will question that efficacy. Look for a reproductive rights champion to raise it; look for a scandalized anti-choice sycophant to to cry shame and "families are off-limits," although no one will mention the family until the Republicans do so.

Abstinence-until-marriage might be a good theory, and it certainly makes money and garners votes for its proponents, but it is hardly realistic, given that the people most intimately affected by it are human beings given to physical and psychological bursts of energy unlike anything previously experienced by them.

Teens need all the help they can get. They need information. They need support in whatever choice they might be forced to make.

They don't need empty platitudes.

Just ask the governor, if you should happen to catch her in a moment of candor.

Trust, but verify.

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1 comment:

The courage of your conviction virtually demands your name, if we don't know you.