Since the story came out that Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s 17-year old daughter is pregnant, I’ve been wondering how the girl ended up pregnant. Did her birth control method fail? Or did she fail to use birth control? To me, that is the important question. I’m not entirely sure what Palin’s views on birth control are. Supposedly, as a member of Feminists for Life she supports birth control while being anti-abortion.
There are lots of blogs being written stating that Palin is actually against birth control, that she only supports use of birth control by adults, that she only supports birth control for married adults, that she only supports abstinence-only education, that she doesn’t support sex ed in schools, that she doesn’t support the distribution of condoms to teens and etc. Many of these blogs refer to comments Palin made during her run for Governor of Alaska, most of the blogs don’t refer to any supporting information. Unfortunately, I can’t find first hand evidence of any of those comments. Palin’s website for her Governor race now directs me to McCain’s website.
I’m worried that these are Palin’s beliefs. I’m worried about what it means to have a VP candidate who is so much against education that can protect teens. I’m worried about what policies will receive her support.
Ironically, though, I found some valuable quotes regarding some of Palin’s other views of important educational topics. Supposedly originally quoted by the Anchorage Daily News, Palin had the following to say:
"Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."
"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum," she said.
"It's OK to let kids know that there are theories out there. They gain information just by being in a discussion."
Were these quotes regarding the teaching of abstinence and birth control use in sex ed classes, I would be perfectly happy with her ideas. Unfortunately, these quotes aren’t regarding sex ed; they’re regarding the teaching of Creationism alongside evolution in science classes. *sigh*
Apparently, Palin’s views on education include teaching information that is incorrect and unsupported, failing to teach information that could generate important debates and help students make important life decisions, and pretty much basing a child’s education on the tenets of a faith that not everyone shares. I’m worried if this woman becomes the VP.