Archive for October, 2008
Once again, teen pregnancy has consumed our national conversation. In discussing Bristol Palin, the pregnant and unmarried 17-year-old daughter of presumptive Republican Vice Presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, we are afforded an opportunity to examine hot-button issues of sex and public health. The Palin story illustrates the discrepancy in how teen pregnancy prevention is handled in our schools, and how it works in reality. Our schools promote “safe sex”, though that was obviously not practiced in the case of Bristol Palin. The contradiction is that Bristol’s mother, who is now suddenly a high profile political figure who may soon have a strong influence on public health policy, actively campaigns against sex education and promotes only abstinence as birth control. That clearly did not work to prevent teen pregnancy in the case of her own family.