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Palin’s selection injects Roe v. Wade into election discourse

Even before yesterday’s revelation about the pregnancy of her 17-year-old daughter, the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be the GOP vice presidential candidate almost instantly thrust the issue of Supreme Court appointments – and specifically, whether Roe v. Wade may be overturned in a McCain administration – into the forefront of election campaign chatter.

When GOP nominee Sen. John McCain unveiled his pick Friday, opponents immediately began pointing out that Palin described herself to be as “pro-life as any candidate can be.”

“Gov. Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton in a statement issued before McCain and Palin made their first joint appearance.

“She shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the same day.

“The last thing women need is a president – and vice president – who are prepared to turn back the clock on women’s rights and repeal the protections of Roe v. Wade,” said Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in a statement Friday.

Then yesterday, after news of the pregnancy of Palin’s daughter, Bristol, broke, evangelical leaders rallied on Palin’s behalf, saying the decision of her daughter to keep the child reinforced the candidate’s pro-life stance.

“Before, they were excited about her, with the Down syndrome baby,” conservative activist Grover Norquist said. “But now with this, they are over the moon. It reinforces the fact that this family lives its pro-life values.”

“Fortunately, Bristol is following her mother and father’s example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said. “We are committed to praying for Bristol and her husband-to-be and the entire Palin family as they walk through a very private matter in the eyes of the public.”

Meanwhile Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama echoed the sentiment expressed by Palin in a statement and by McCain through a spokesperson that the issue of the pregnancy be kept out of the campaign, and that the privacy of the family be respected.


  1. What hypocrites the conservatives are. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. That it was one of Obama’s girl’s that was pregnant. Then all these self righteous kooks would be all over the place talking about morality and parental responsibility. But now because it is one of their own, they are all fawning over this kid and admiring her bravery in choosing to have this baby. What a load of garbage.

    My question is, if you cannot even have control and take care of your own kids, what kind of leader are you going to be (supposedly one heart beat away from being a president)?

  2. And what a media circus this has turned out to be, thanks to John McCain and Karl rove. So now instead of talking about the millions of unemployed in this country, the 50 million without health care, the energy crisis (oh, I forgot, palin has the magic bullet, drill in Alaska, that will solve everything). Now that McCain has the religious right in his back pocket, will everyone else leave. I hope people are smart enough to see what this is all about.

  3. What a crock of hooey. Bristol Palin is a walking talking testament to the failures of Ms Palins and the bases extreme beliefs. With contraception, this could have been avoided. With actual sex education – not the bogus and totally ineffective abstinence only – but real sex ed, this may have not happened. The far right evangelicals are hypocrits – they have no compassion outside their own – but in this case it’s acceptable. It makes you truly question their convictions. Frauds.

    It’s 2008, it’s time these folks realize that kids are having sex and just telling them no isn’t enough. Abstinence only is the least effective method. Palin brings a pair of ovaries to the mcccain ticket – nothing more. Women are insulted by the patronizing trophy pick, and it will be reflected in the voting. I’m glad to see the base fired up because they’ll need every vote they can get because independents and moderate women will not vote for a woman that will do more harm than good to womens issues. Her extreme views are too far out of the mainstream for many voters.

  4. A vigorous dissent:

    Hypocrites? No — hypocrisy would be if the Palins encouraged young Bristol Palin to abort her “burden” while still claiming to be pro-life. Lots of women (married and unmarried) find themselves pregnant every year (even while taking preventative measures), but the answer to unplanned pregnancy should not involve taking innocent life. Furthermore, I’ve not heard any conservatives complain about Sen. Obama being the child of single mother so where exactly is their hypocrisy? The only hypocrisy I see is when “pro-choicers” complain about the fact that this young woman has chosen life for her child. The great American promise is that regardless of one’s personal (or parental) failures, mistakes, or backgrounds–we have the opportunity to make the best of it. Obama certainly understands this.

    Also, I’d like to see some proof that abstinence-only sex education is the causation of teen pregancies in America. That’s the real “crock of hooey”. Contraception-based sex education encourages even more sexual activity and therefore increases likelihood of accidents, unplanned pregancies, and increased STDs. If young people are too irresponsible to remain abstinent, they are equally too irresponsible to wear condoms or take pills every day. And that’s the real point: Sex should used responsibly (like in the context of marriage).

    And for more hypocrisy from the left, how about the blatant sexism demostrated by the liberal Democrats with Post #3 above as Exhibit A. I guess it’s a thicker glass ceiling than originally believed–No conservative women allowed! Palin is a feminist in the truest sense because she embodies the feminist ideals of equality and because she’s absolutely willing to fight for women’s rights including the rights of unborn women! She’s philosophically consistent. The extreme liberal view that a baby can be aborted seconds before birth but NOT seconds after is most certainly NOT mainstream–and that will be reflected in the November election.

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