VIDEO: Bristol Palin Says Abstinence “Isn’t Realistic”

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.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

  • invalid-0

    Oh well what can I say? Didn’t any one speak to her about contraception? As a mother of teenage daughters myself I encourage these kinds of conversations. As it is my daughter is on the pill because she has a boyfriend and we all know how easy it is to get carried away in the moment.

    Quite possible that her mother didn’t coerce her into having the baby but I still blame her anyway.

  • alexm

    If she can cut through that false consciousness as she grows older she may become an advocate for the "pro-voice" movement.


    The personal is political.

  • invalid-0

    Wow, what an idiot, doesnt anyone prep her for these interviews they way they did her mother, wait, maybe they did…..

  • invalid-0

    I am going to guess that the subject of birth control was rarely, if ever, discussed at home OR in school. I would also say that the reason Bristol and Levi didn’t use birth control was parental and school attitudes against it. We don’t want them thinking about sex, so we refuse to discuss all forms of birth control except abstinence. I certainly do hope that Bristol and Levi both become proponents of birth control for everyone, including teens.

  • invalid-0

    I really can’t see what was wrong with anything that she said. I’m glad she chose to have the baby, why shouldn’t she? Her family is financially capable to take care of her and the baby. It wasn’t as if she was at risk when she had the baby. She wishes she had the baby 10 years after, fair enough. But I’m glad she’s happy with the baby now. I guess the only thing that disturbs me here is that this is a teen pregnancy story gone right, it might send a message to other teens that “Hey, nothing bad happened to Bristol Palin so I guess it’s really no big deal if we have unsafe sex.” She’s also so right about abstinence. The only way you are going to stop teens from having sex is if you spay them. I think parents should bring up the topic of safe sex with their kids as early as possible. This is what makes sex so much big of a deal with teens, it’s something that arouses their curiosity because talking about it is so taboo yet the media peddles it in every way possible.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks for the video! Yeah, it’s good that she’s able to face up to her acts and take accountability for it. But I also think the lesson is that more should be done to educate our teens about contraception and unwanted pregnancy.