For Bristol Palin, being a teen parent poses existential questions.
Now that her son Tripp is born, she wouldn’t want it any other way. And yet she wishes having a baby had happened a decade from now.
"Of course, I wish it would happen in like 10 years, so I
could have a job and an education and my own house and be prepared and
stuff," she told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren.
In an interview, Sarah Palin’s daughter made a few things clear: having a baby, Tripp, was a choice; it was her choice, not her mother’s; she likes being a mom, and yet, being a teen parent is not something to "strive for."
Highlights from Greta Van Susteren’s interview with Bristol Palin in which Bristol talks candidly about teen pregnancy, abstinence and contraception.
This both-and reality can work for Bristol — and thank goodness it does. She can both know that she made the right choice and wish that she had never been presented with the options she faced. How
would Bristol feel now if her family — who help her out more than she
could have imagined, she said — weren’t there to help her out? If she
hadn’t had a choice, if what she decided was right for her wasn’t
available at all? If her wish never to have been faced with the challenges of parenting at 18 was read as an admission that she never should have had a baby now?
"It was my choice to have the baby," Bristol said. "It doesn’t matter what my mom’s thoughts are on it."
When Van Susteren pushed Bristol on whether she and Levi had been "lazy" or "uninterested" in contraception, or opposed it for philosophical or religious reasons, Bristol declined to answer, but said, "Abstinence is…like the, the main…everyone should be abstinent, but it’s not realistic at all." Why not? "Because it’s more and more accepted," she explained.
"I hope that people learn from my story and prevent teen pregnancy," she said. Then she took it one step further: "I’d like to be an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy." Bristol, you have an open invitation here.