A Thank-You and Some Questions For Governor Palin

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Dear Governor Palin:

Thank you for announcing that things have changed.

Your Republican supporters cheer your ability to work full-time despite having five children at home. And your Republican supporters celebrate your pregnant, unmarried child, and praise your support of her.

It was only weeks ago that families like yours were being described as lewd, immoral, and bad for America by millions of these same supporters.

Apparently, it’s now OK to have sex outside marriage.
And apparently, it’s now OK to get pregnant outside of marriage.
And apparently, it’s now OK for mothers of infants to work outside the home.

As you know, this represents substantial change. For years, America has suffered under the brutal Evangelical-Bush regime that condemned all sex outside of marriage, that demonized and marginalized pregnant teens, and that labeled working mothers as selfish and narcissistic.

Hearing you talk about your “wonderful,” “intelligent” daughter and her teen lover in this social-political context raises some important questions.

Since you know that many wonderful young people have sex outside marriage, why did you vote against sex education courses that would prepare them to make mature decisions about this important experience?

And since you know that many intelligent young people can get pregnant, and you say that having babies makes them “grow up faster than their parents had ever planned,” why did you vote against teaching teens about contraception, and making reproductive services available to poor people?

And since you obviously believe that mothers with babies have the right to work outside the home, why did you vote against health-care and day-care services for poor mothers?

John McCain’s representative Steve Schmidt dismisses any criticism about your circumstances as “life happens.” Conservative pundits are saying your family situation will “humanize” you and that America’s parents will “relate” to your complicated life.

Can we assume, then, that as Vice-President you will end the government’s unrelenting punishment of teen sexuality? That you will stop using federal agencies like the FDA and HHS to withhold safe medications and reproductive services from the American public? Will you discontinue support to faith-based organizations that lie to teens about the phony connections between abortion and infertility?

And since you say you support “Bristol’s decision to have her baby,” will you support the right of every other pregnant American to make her own decision about her pregnancy?

As Vice-President, will you explicitly support the needs of all American youth and their parents as they struggle with the realities of teen sexuality—or is your family’s unplanned, non-marital pregnancy the only kind of “life happens” family you can recognize?

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