Teen pregnancy and sex education were thrust into the spotlight this week when Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin revealed that her 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant.
Palin's running mate, John McCain, and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Palin's position is less clear.
In a widely quoted 2006 survey she answered during her gubernatorial campaign, Palin said she supported abstinence-until-marriage programs. But weeks later, she proclaimed herself "pro-contraception" and said condoms ought to be discussed in schools alongside abstinence.
"I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues," she said during a debate in Juneau.
Such statements could raise concerns among social conservatives who have been some of Palin's most enthusiastic supporters since she was tapped for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket last week.
Leslee Unruh, president of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse and campaign manager of the Vote Yes for Life effort, said children must be given a "clear and concise" message on the benefits of abstinence.
Asked about Palin's statement, Unruh said, "I don't think it's clear. It seems disjointed to me."