In 2006, running for governor of Alaska, when asked whether
she would support funding for "abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for
explicit sex-education programs," Sarah
Palin wrote, "the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."
In 2008, at the tail end of a vice-presidential campaign and
now the mother of a pregnant 18-year-old: Palin tells
People magazine, "[W]e have not been ones to say that students, should not
know what preventive measures are all about…When have I ever said that there
should be no sex education taught in our homes or even in our schools?"
When asked by interviewer Sandra Sobieraj Westfall, "Abstinence or contraception?" Palin responds, "Well, both."
Palin even says, "I’ve been taken aback by some criticism
that mainstream media has thrown my way saying, Oh, what a hypocrite she is and
she’s now learned her lesson because she’s been against sex education in the
schools. And I’m like, when? Where?"
Sarah Palin, tell it to the Republican Party – and tell your running mate, too.
John McCain has said "I think I support
the President’s policy" on sex ed. The President’s
policy has been to shovel over $1 billion federal dollars at abstinence-only
programs. The Republican Party,
meanwhile, recently "renew[ed]
our call for replacing family planning programs for teens with increased
funding for abstinence education." They
also, in case you thought there was an ambiguity, stated that they "oppose
school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and relative services for
abortion and contraception."
And maybe Palin’s religious right base should get a heads up, too – after all, commenting on Bristol Palin’s pregnancy, President of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse Leslee Unruh said, "Abstinence
works. It works every single time…Blaming sex education for the failures of
people who make a mistake is not fair."
the relevant portion of the People interview:
Has this changed how you talk about sex with your other
SP: I’ve always been a proponent of making sure kids understand – even
in schools – they’d better take preventative measures so that they don’t find
themselves in these less than ideal circumstances. Perhaps Bristol could be a good example to other
young women that life happens and preventative measures are, first and
foremost, the option that should be considered -
Do you mean abstinence or contraception?
SP: Well, both. Ideally abstinence. But we have not been ones to say
that students, should not know what preventive measures are all about. I’ve
been taken aback by some criticism that mainstream media has thrown my way
saying, Oh, what a hypocrite she is and she’s now learned her lesson because
she’s been against sex education in the schools. And I’m like, when? Where?
When have I ever said that there should be no sex education taught in our homes
or even in our schools?
Palin also credits a "flexible schedule" for her ability
to balance demanding public service jobs and a growing family. But Palin’s running mate opposes expansion of
the Family Medical Leave Act, which enables workers to take sick leave to care for family members, and doesn’t think FMLA leave should be paid
As a new Grandma, it’s going to be hard if you’re in
Washington and the new baby is going to be so far away-
SP: We’ve always had very flexible schedules -
TP: Very flexible schedules -
SP: – and probably quite unconventional, but it’s always worked and our
family and our faith and those things that we so believe in comes first and
we’ve always made this all work.