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The GOP platform plank on sexual abstinence

Palins In the wake of today's revelation that Sarah Palin's 17-year-old, unwed daughter is pregnant, the following plank in the Republican platform for the 2008 presidential campaign is sure to garner more attention than usual.

Here it is:

We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.

Approving the platform is one bit of business that will proceed at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota's Twin Cities. Many of the convention's other activities, including speeches that had been scheduled for tonight, have been canceled or rearranged because of Hurricane Gustav.

-- Don Frederick

Bristol Palin, 17, holds her brother Trig during the campaign rally where Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., introduced Bristol and Trig's mom, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as his vice presidential running mate in Dayton, Ohio, Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. Sarah Palin said Monday, Sept. 1, 2008, that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. With Bristol is, left to right, their father Todd and sisters Piper and Willow. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Comments () | Archives (14)

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Great that the Republicans still do like the ostrich and put their head in the sand. Apparently, the absence of contraception teaching doesn't mean that teens abstain from sex, so let's wake up and make our young adults better informed instead of getting them into shotgun marriages and turning them into high-school dropouts.

What a shame irony and hypocrisy goes so unrecognized by the authoritarian mind.

I agree with the platform. I suspect that Palin will agree with the platform. I know Palin is going to be a great VP....because she has more experience than Obama, and more class than Biden

The Bristol Palin story only confirms the fact that the Republican platform plank for abstinence education is in the main an unrealistic and unworkable solution to a common problem for the young. It's tough, but I think it's time that we as a nation grew up and recognized that these things happen.

I am sorry that Palin's family life must now become public, but this is not the media's fault. How could McCain not have expected the close scrutiny of a relatively unknown political figure for the VP slot, especially given his age and health. The pregnancy will be an issue because of Palin's positions on birth control and abortion. But this issue will only be added to all of the others that are now being raised about her judgment and honesty.

Now we know more about McCain:

Doesn't help Vets and Doesn't Vet Help.

"McCain Just Lost the Election with a Hail Mary (or Political Ambition 21, Country 0)"

Parenting is a tough job; however, sometimes pubic servants are so absorbed in their professional aspirations, that personal matters get sidelined or over looked. Unprotected sex is like a game of russian roulette.

I feel very sorry for Bristol Palin, but, considering who her mother is and, above all, who her mother thinks she is and will be, I just have to laugh at the paradox. Too bad that it´s at some young girl´s expense.

Maybe the "Hockey Mom" should have been more into what was going on in the rink at home. Lots of people are grand, dedicated professionals and their daughters don´t get pregnant at 17...

Does the GOP really think that this is going to be taken lightly?

And what about Palin, herself? First she gets on a plane while in labor with a baby whom she previously knew was Downe´s and could have further delivery complications... now she accepts a candidature that throws her pregnant daughter into the national and international spotlight (all over the European press today), making her the brunt of all the jokes and an example not to follow. For the intimacy and good of her own child, Sarah Palin should have said no to the offer and thereby protected Bristol from this exposure.

I think Palin is just an ambitious, self-centered farse of a human being. Tragically, that would make her a great President, in true GOP style, and it definitely makes her McCain´s "soulmate". He of the abandoned, disfigured wife trade-off for young heiress.

It´s a ticket that should make a lot of Conservatives think twice about who their are voting for. Problem is, the Right doesn´t even think once.

What bad judgment on Palin's part to accept the nomination under the circumstances. Did she really think that Bristol's pregnancy could be hidden in this day of 24/7 news and tabloid coverage. What does it do to Bristol to be on the front page of The National Enquirer. Bad judgment!

Is there any basis for what on the West Coast are comments that Gov Palin may withdraw from being nominated VP to spare her family and her husband any further intense scrutiny?

Mrs. Palin ought to drop out and save her children and family further embarrasment and scrutiny. She is not ready for this job on many levels including the grueling campaign ahead in light of the premature issues in her current circumstance.Vying for the seat of VP for the United States is NOT the same as Governor of Alaska. If she had governed California for example that could have counted more as experience, just because of the complexity of that environment. The Republicans and the religious right are being hypocrites here, morality is a core issue and has to be addressed in the home, schools and churches. If a 17 year old child is not having sex then she has no need to be considering a pro life or pro choice stance and truly that is what is at the core. For the religious right to be celebrating the fact that Bristol and her mother are pro-life as though, the pro-life stance itself is the ultimate goal for morality is a big shame and pure foolishness and truly appalling. We all know that children make mistakes but we cannot have double standards, when Brittany Spears (I believe it was her sister) sister got pregnant at 16 or 17, Disney pulled her show, rightfully so, as it would have been a bad visual image for young people, the bulk of her viewership. I am glad Bristol is making the right choice after the fact, but the moral choice would have been to stay pure. Again we make mistakes and God is faithful and forgiving when we repent, but religious people who call themselves christians cannot rewrite the rules everytime they feel they need to, in order to meet their partisan goal. That is what is appaling. Anyhow, the bigger truth is that unfortunately we are constantly hearing from the loud ones who seem to know how to promote themselves and impose their leadership on us. There are loads of Christian leaders out there who preach the unadulterated word of God and do it with love and grace. Now back to the political implications, I believe Governor Palin ought to step aside and focus on being a governor of Alaska, truly helping her daughter by creating a healthy and quiet environment for her to journey through this. That said, we know that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and yet God's grace is always sufficient for us!

I'm afraid that if Governor Palin doesn't drop out, she'll be forced out this week. When was Senator McCain planning to disclosed the things the contributed to his 'informed decision' to the delegates? Does this sound like open government?

I agree with the platform. I suspect that Palin will agree with the platform. I know Palin is going to be a great VP....because she has more experience than Obama, and more class than Biden

Posted by: RFace | September 01, 2008 at 01:34 PM

Only in Republican America would a black man with a law degree from Harvard, 12 years in politics, four years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and manager of one of the most impressively flawless and forward thinking presidential campaigns ever not be ready for the presidency while a white female evangelical with 19 months in national politics and a bachelors in journalism is considered "ready on day one.

Great scoop LA Times. You proved by running Sarah Palin's photo front page that

1) Conservatives are human just like the rest of us, with real human faults and shortcomings, and

2) Your office is so devoid of journalistic standards that you would smear a 17-year-old girl because she's pregnant. I can't believe you ran her face as a lead photo, how trashy does your paper have to get? What are you as tabloid now? Did you get bought out by the National Enquirer?

Are you still claiming that readership is falling because of the Internet? Maybe it's because of your complete lack of ethics and inability to stay in touch with your readership.

To the mothers out there raising teenagers. If your child or one of your children got pregnant, or joined a gang, or got caught up in drugs, or got involved in any kind of crime, would you quit your job and stay home ,thinking you could raise him better? If the answer is no, why should Palin stop her work and stay home ? No matter how good your parenting skills might be you can't watch a teenager 24/7, somewhere along the way they develop their own way of thinking and doing things their way. The thing that would help the child at that time is their parents talking with them and giving them their love and support. Palin is doing this. She is a great mother and will be a smart intelligent V. P.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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