Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teen mother speaks out against teen pregnancy

I was skimming through Yahoo! News earlier today (at least I think it was earlier today) and something caught my eye about Bristol Palin (daughter of Caribou Barbie and Republican unwed mother) speaking out against teen pregnancy. It's not actually easy to find, but I guess she talked to Fox News. Basically, the news outlets reported that she said teen motherhood isn't glamorous, everyone should wait 10 years, and that while everyone should be abstinent it isn't realistic.

So I had this whole rant planned about there being better ways than abstinence, and I'll get to that in just a moment. But before that starts, I'd like to point you to an opinion piece by Maggie Gallagher entitled BRISTOL PALIN SPEAKS which brings into sharp focus the fact that Bristol Palin interviews about as well as her mom.

Anyway, I think there are FAR better ways to curb the teen pregnancy rate than abstinence, which does not now and never has worked. And I'm not talking about pesky birth control. Come on, folks. We were all there. We all had those hormones. We were all WAY TOO FREAKING EMBARRASSED to deal with a CONDOM. No, I've got some better ideas. Time tested ideas. Maybe a bit old-fashioned, but what we're doing ain't working.

1. Marry 'em off as soon as they are of "child bearing age". Now, this could raise some debate. Are they of child bearing age as soon as they menstruate or do they need to grow boobs or what? But really...get 'em off the family teat early. None of this spending good money to send the ungrateful little things to college. Buy that RV NOW not in 20 years.

2. Shotgun weddings. What ever happened to these? You got a girl pregnant, you married her. You do the crime you do the time.

3. Shame. Good old fashion shame. You get pregnant and you can't get the guy to marry you? Or you don't WANT to marry him? Or you don't know WHICH guy it is? You don't KEEP the baby. You go off to your Aunt Sally's, have the baby, and give it up for adoption. A nice couple in Iowa can't get pregnant.

Oh, I know, this will lower our children's self-esteem, set our society back...blah, blah, blah. I don't know about you, but I didn't meet self esteem until my mid-30s. Our society? Yeah, doing great. It puts all the onus on the women? Um, too late.

Anyway, abstinence never worked. Sex is too much fun. Somehow, THAT part of the abstinence speech always gets left out. While it CAN be a spiritual, moving, special experience between two committed loving adults, I think a lot of us can ALSO attest that it can be casual and fun and feel good to boot. I don't pretend to have the answers, but I know that I'm here because abstinence didn't work out. And, in the words of Maggie Gallagher "Is it really wise for an entire society to adopt the point of view of the average inarticulate 18-year-old kid?"

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