by Jessi H '11

Hockey Mom= Vice Prez?

Hypocritical? Check. Misleading? Check. Not quite the qualities searched for in a vice presidential candidate. Yet, they are a few of the ones portrayed by Sarah Palin, the republican candidate. Palin is the governor of Alaska, and a very conservative woman who takes a strong stand against gay marriage, abortion rights, and the teaching of sex education.
Palin stresses the fact that she is just an average “hockey mom,” experienced in dealing with issues most mothers naturally do. However, I do not think it should be considered just another average issue that her seventeen year old daughter is pregnant. She had already banned the teaching of sex-education, leaving teens, much like her daughter, Bristol, ignorant to all of the dangers, risks, and precautionary tales taught in sex education. It does not preach any side; it is far from encouraging teenagers to have sexual intercourse, the main source of worry from Palin and others with conservative beliefs. However, it would be wise of Palin to revise these ideas, considering that her teenage daughter became accidentally pregnant.
Palin’s decision, to not oppose the teaching of sex education has backfired. If it can happen to her daughter, Bristol, it can happen to other teenage girls. Without the proper knowledge they will not be able to make mature, informed choices. Who does that benefit? Palin is not looking out for the best interest of young women today. And therefore women should not feel the pressure to vote her into office for the sake of advancing women. She will be reversing this progress, back tracking on all the steps women have taken.
Her stand, pro-life, is to take away the rights of females all over the country, take away their control over their own bodies. Palin was quoted saying, “I am pro-life. I’ll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.” Is that really what legislature should be focusing on, making sure women do not have options? An abortion will have no effect on the country as a whole, and will do no harm to the woman having it, so it will not be in anyone’s best interest to ban abortions. Women have fought so hard to own land, vote, wear what they please; they should not have to fight over the rights to their own bodies! To perhaps strengthen her position or her appeal she has come out in support of her daughter, Sarah and her husband, Todd, and issued a statement saying, we are “proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” Palin should put more thought into how this statement will affect other young women. It paints this situation as purely joyful, not a good message to send out about teenage pregnancy.
It will be easier for Bristol Palin to raise the baby, as she will have money, access to private education and connections all her life. However, for most teenage girls, the ride will not be remotely close to simple or settled. Palin could use this as an opportunity to place sex education classes in the schools of Alaska, and show young women that pregnancy is not something to take lightly. A Texan delegate in support of the Republican Party declared, “I think, if anything, it shows the Republican Party is a real American party. Every family has to deal with children, and sometimes children make decisions that parents wish they would not have been made, and things happen. But I think children are a blessing from God.”
Sarah Palin should straighten out her priorities. Teen pregnancy should not just be an accepted event staining so many girls’ lives. It gives young women false impressions about pregnancy, and without sexual education classes, they have no other source of information about it. She does not have these young women’s best interests at heart, but instead is focused on imposing her beliefs on those she governs. Palin would be reversing the progress women have made in society, not advancing it. Sarah Palin must do a more efficient job of considering how her actions affect her state if she is ever going to be ready to have her actions affect the nation.


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