Small-Town Elitist

September 6, 2008

Why we should be concerned about Sarah Palin and reproductive health.

There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about Sarah Palin’s positions on women’s reproductive health, and we don’t need to drag her daughter into this, so we won’t.

Instead, it needs to be brought out into the open that Palin’s views are clear in some areas of reproductive health, and in others, not so much. For starters, Palin has made it very clear that she is opposed to abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest. In 2006, when Palin was the gubernatorial candidate for Alaska, she stated that she would oppose abortion in cases of rape and incest, even if it was her daughter who had been assaulted.

It’s interesting to me to note that the AP article I’ve linked states that Cindy McCain is in disagreement with Palin about denying rape and incest victims the right to choose after the right to choose had already been stripped from them by the perpetrator.

Abortion is something that I genuinely hate, but you would be hard-pressed to find me wanting to impose my will upon women who have already been imposed upon enough already. I don’t feel right about the idea I should be making decisions for women who’ve concieved through consentual sex either. I find it alarming that Palin thinks it is her right to force someone who has been raped already to undergo a second rape if they cannot or do not want to endure carrying the pregnancy to term.

And yet, this is just one thing to worry about when it comes to Palin and reproductive rights.

The Huffington Post blogger I’ve linked to also makes the following claim about Palin and birth control:

“Palin is a member of the deceptively named “Feminists for Life” who would criminalize not only abortion but the IUD and hormonal birth control methods (e.g. the pill).”

This is very worrisome, as access to contraception and the ability to decide for ourselves whether we want to use it, should be a basic right. Women should be able to decide for ourselves whether we want to be pregnant in the first place, and also be able to decide whether forms of birth control can help us in other ways, such as the treatment of ovarian cancer, PCOS, difficult menstrual cycles, and more. Palin is following in the footsteps of the disasterous Bush administration with its myopic viewpoint that contraception = illicit sex & abortion, and that women have no right to decide whether we get pregnant or not.

One area where things are not quite as clear, is it seems Palin has flip-flopped a little on sex-education. According to Huffington Post, Palin stated in an Eagle Forum questionaire that she supported abstinence-only education, and opposed school-funded comphrensive sex ed. Yet the Los Angeles Times reports that weeks later she was quoted at a debate as saying, “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues.”

Hmmm….I like the second answer much better! Kids need to be armed with information. I believe abstinence is a very valid choice; I practice it after all; but knowledge is power, and it gives kids a shot at preventing pregnancies and STDs in the event they decide to go the other route. I would hope that Palin would ignore the Eagle Forum on this one, but I won’t hold my breath. Amazingly, Cindy McCain is more progressive on this issue as well; she feels kids should be taught abstinence *and* about contraception! Whoa!

To wrap this up, all of this raises very serious questions about Palin, her thoughts on reproductive health, and what a John McCain presidency would look like. I gather it wouldn’t be pretty.

Here are some additional links about Palin’s record on reproductive health, teenage mothers, and special needs children:

Crooks and Liars: Sarah Palin slashed funding for teen pregnancy programs

MOMocrats: Sarah Palin slashes funds for special needs children

Pioneer Times Journal/AP: Sen. McCain opposed funding teen pregnancy prevention programs

And also, a really good article from Slate, Bristol’s Choice.

NP: Armored Saint: Book of Blood

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4 Comments »

  1. Nicely balanced opinions so refreshing to hear them from someone who practices moral convictions that have become sullied by attachment to the ideas immoral politicians.
    I may not agree with your choices in life but I agree that they are yours and therefore not my business. Well done.
    Damon

    Comment by sungypsy — September 6, 2008 @ 9:43 pm |Reply

  2. Thanks Damon! I’ve been watching the religious right trying to shove moral principles they won’t practice themselves onto other people and seen how poorly it worked. It becomes clear it’s none of the politico’s business!

    Comment by smalltownelitist — September 6, 2008 @ 9:52 pm |Reply

  3. Sarah Palin: Sincere but misinformed

    I like Sarah Palin. She is sincere and full of energy. But she is woefully misinformed.

    No sex education! Whoops! Teenager has a baby!
    Shouldn’t that be a clue?
    Brother-in-law is harassing her sister. Palin pulls strings to get him fired. Is that going too far?
    Doesn’t like some of the books in the local library. She asks the librarian if she would mind removing certain books. The librarian indicates she will not tolerate censorship. Palin gets her fired.

    The common thread here is the self-appointed assumption that what I (Palin) decide is better for you than what you decide. Ohh, that smacks of totalitarianism! Too bad it hasn’t worked, doesn’t work, and won’t work in the future. Most amazing of all (and tragic) is that some people don’t like to think for themselves. They are mentally lazy, and oh-so willing to let others make these crucial decisions for them. You could see a few mindless drones waving flags and cheering her at the Republican Convention.

    Reminds of the Stockholm syndrome. The captives after a while begin to idolize their kidnappers. “I’m going to restrict
    what you can say and do, but trust me, this will be good for you!” Yeah! Pit-bull with lipstick!
    (And the crowd goes wild!)

    Comment by christianliberal — September 6, 2008 @ 10:56 pm |Reply

  4. Hi Christian Liberal,

    I agree, I find myself wanting to like Sarah Palin too! But her totaltarianism, and evident tendency to want payback for people who oppose what she wants to accomplish sound an awful lot like the current president for me to trust her.

    And yeah, the mentality of some people does remind me of Stockholm syndrome too. Too many of them come from backgrounds where they are taught that someone else must make decisions for them, as well.

    Comment by smalltownelitist — September 6, 2008 @ 11:07 pm |Reply


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