Saturday, 18 April 2009
Sarah Palin's choices
Sarah Palin gave very colourful accounts of her "pregnancy" with Trig and the doubts she had early in the pregnancy at the Indiana gig.
In segment 5 of her speech, she refers to critics twice, citing them as the reason to keep the pregnancy secret. Sarah Palin is confusing more recent events and criticism with what was really going on back in March 2008, when she announced the happy news. At that stage she was still very popular and nobody criticized her for being pregnant.
People were surprised because she was as flat as a board, but no one had any criticism regarding her pregnancy. Sarah Palin also referred to the critics as Neanderthals. I found the remark very ironic. After all, Neanderthal thinking is associated with the more conservative types... Republicans, as a matter of fact. What was she trying to say?
Sarah Palin said that she didn't know what Trig was going to look like. She must have led a very sheltered life. Any woman of childbearing age knows what a child with Down's Syndrome looks like, women over forty in particular. Nobody knows what children are going to look like until they arrive. We expect them to look like their parents or siblings. But she was talking about that extra chromosome and the remark came across as a bit... stupid.
Sarah Palin said she felt a love she never felt before. As a mother of four she had at least four opportunities to feel that kind of love. Her other children may take issue with that statement...
The other platitude was saying that Trig was the best thing that ever happened to her. A child with special needs is not the best thing that happens in anybody's life. It's not the worst thing, but saying it's the best is shallow, it's a soundbite. This kind of statement is a slap in the faces of numerous parents who struggle to bring up children with disabilities in less fortunate circumstances. They love their special children but wouldn't go as far as saying it's the best thing ever. Sarah Palin makes the whole issue sound trite. The fact that she slashed funding for special needs projects and turned down stimulus money for these projects speaks louder than her empty words.
Sarah Palin said she had doubts and contemplated a termination. That's just another soundbite to plug her faith. She had a moment of weakness but God showed her the way and she chose life. Her anti-choice stance would lead to removing this kind of "temptation" from all women's lives, if only she had the power to bring it about. It's interesting to consider that she had the choice to walk into a safe, well equipped clinic to go through a termination. She would like to remove that option, reverse Roe vs Wade and ban abortions at state level.
Sarah Palin's struggle was kept between her and her God. God chose life. Wonderful!
Women who don't have such a close relationship with God or don't have as comfortable a life as Sarah Palin may come to a different choice.
I have never heard of a single woman who had an abortion for fun. Abortion is an invasive procedure that's not taken lightly. In Sarah Palin's world, a victim of rape, sometimes by a close relative, would have to go through every single day of a pregnancy, feeling the baby grow, feeling every movement, every kick, then go through labour to produce a baby in order to bless a childless couple with the gift of life. She would have to feel her breasts fill with milk for the baby of the man who violated her, took away her confidence and a great part of her life and self.
It may be less dramatic for a woman who was not raped, but pregnancy is no picnic, giving up a baby is not easily done. Choices are made for the women themselves and on behalf of their babies. It's not an easy choice.
Sarah Palin made HER choice and should be able to respect other women's choices.
Trivializing other people's experiences to score political points with her base is a punch below the belt. Nobody interfered with Sarah Palin's choices and the least she could do is have some respect for women who make choices different from her own.
For someone who goes on and on about government keeping out of people's lives I find her position a little bit contradictory. Sarah Palin is very keen to pass laws that would interfere in people's lives at a very basic level.
Provide funds for decent sex education? No. Provide funds for projects aimed at helping families facing the challenge of bringing up children with special needs? No.
Being judgemental and meddling in people's private lives in the name of God? Yes.
Sarah Palin should keep her God out of politics and her lies to herself.
Videos of Indiana speech