May 6th, 2009
10:56 AM ET
5 years ago

'Learn from my example,' says Bristol Palin

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston were thrust into the national spotlight last September when Gov. Sarah Palin revealed that the unmarried teens were expecting a baby.
Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston were thrust into the national spotlight last September when Gov. Sarah Palin revealed that the unmarried teens were expecting a baby.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Teen mom Bristol Palin had a simple message for teens on Wednesday, the 8th Annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

The daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – the 2008 vice presidential nominee – said in an interview on NBC's Today Show that she wanted other teens to "learn from my example."

"If you're going to have sex, I think you should have safe sex," the unwed, teenage mother said as she held her infant son, Tripp. "And, regardless of what I did or anything like that, I think that abstinence is the only 100 percent foolproof way of preventing teen pregnancy."

Her father, Todd, acknowledged that his daughter was negotiating difficult territory as she holds herself out as an increasingly public advocate for the cause of preventing teen pregnancy.

"It's kind of a fine line that we're definitely walking on," he said when asked whether the governor's daughter could both advocate for teens to abstain and encourage practicing safe sex.

The young mother did have one topic she was not willing to discuss in detail – her increasingly strained relationship with Levi Johnston, Tripp's father.

"I'm honestly not here to talk about my personal life," Palin told Lauer, adding that Johnston was involved in raising their son.

"They're working out a schedule," Todd Palin said of the young parents' arrangements. "I know that both of them will love and care for their son together."

In a recent interview with CNN's Larry King, Johnston and his family said they were considering legal action to protect his parental rights.


Filed under: Bristol Palin • Levi Johnston • Sarah Palin • Todd Palin
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Mike Dallas

    Since the half-wit was preggers with Tundra(whatever) when she and Todd married, and now Bristol, how can either woman make a credible statement or example for "abstinence", a concept which neither of them practice?

    Maybe an 22 year old virgin that did not drop out of high-school but actually graduated and went to college and then married and had a baby would be an appropriate spokeswoman for abstinence.

    May 6, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. John

    Do as I say and not as I do is the constant refrain from Republicans.

    May 6, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Jake

    Bristol and Levi both smolder sex appeal like an Abercrombie & Fitch ad...

    then she proudly displays her adorable little "mistake" to the world

    her message is: don't have sex....but if you just can't hold off your desiers, use a condom!

    is this a JOKE!? what are teenagers taking away from her!???

    May 6, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Randall Flagg

    I would bet anyone $1,000 that she did not volunteer to do this on her own. I would wager her mother has something to do with putting her up to this to try to re-make the family image over. Sarah Palin obvioulsy has no problem with exploiting her family to promote her own self interests. Then she'll turn around and say the media is exploiting her family right after she pushed Bristol into the media spotlight. What a hippocrite!

    May 6, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    So did this loser get her GED yet?

    Who cares what she has to say about anything, least of all pregnancy prevention?

    Did you check out the Candie's Foundation web site? Full of typos....

    May 6, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Monrob

    She didn't learn a thing. I bet she is collecting a Social Security Check from us. Did she not learn from her mother"s failed policies.

    May 6, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Mickie

    Learning from example means having someone to exemplify, not someone who has screwed up and then acts high and mighty. Your mother should have taught you to keep your legs together.

    May 6, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Dina

    Teen pregnancy rates have declined, not risen. In what is perhaps the most comprehensive study produced in a decade, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed record drops in the rates of teenage pregnancies and abortion.

    According to the results, both abortion and teenage pregnancies have been steadily dropping since 1990.

    Overall, the total number of abortions fell 24 percent to 1.22 million in 2004 from a historical high of 1.61 million in 1990.

    Teenage pregnancies also declined during the same period, accounting for only 12 percent of all pregnancies in 2004 – a drop from 15 percent fourteen years earlier.

    May 6, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Sniffit

    Fact: Teenagers are horny and ARE going to do the nasty.

    Fact: Making condoms available and encouraging their use decreases the incidence rate of teenage pregnancies.

    Fact: Age-appropriate, proper education regarding the realities of human reproductive behavior decreases the incidence rate of teenage pregnancies (no doubt especially effective when pictures of stretch marks or tearing and film of a live birth, particularly a c-section, are shown haha).

    Fact: Teaching abstinence also helps decrease the incidence rate of teenage pregnancies.

    Fact: Piety does not decrease the incidence rate of teenage pregnancies...nor is it a prophylactic or the anti-horny drug.

    Fact: We need to employ PRAGMATIC, COMPREHENSIVE solutions to difficulties present in our society, not DOGMATIC, IDEOLOGICAL approaches that limit our options and result in self-righteous judgment of those we let slip through the cracks.

    May 6, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. librarian

    What about contraception ? It WORKS. Try it sometimes ...

    May 6, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Nina

    Palin family will do anything to get back in to the lime light. Sarah Palin says she believes in abstinence but she became pregnant before getting married. Now Bristol is trying to preach the same thing. Wonder why her mother forgot to mention it . I hope they will forget about the money and the media attention and take care of that baby. What a pathetic Family

    May 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Whitey from DC

    Why does one assumed only liberals are bashing her?

    May 6, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Sorry, I forgot one:

    Fact: Encouraging the use of birth control pills and making the morning after pill available to those who CHOOSE to protect themselves in that manner also decrease the incidence of teenage pregnancies.

    May 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Winston Stanley, PhD.

    The statement/term "Safe Sex" has become a common mis-nomer. Safe Sex has its genesis with a man and woman, who has consumated their vow at the altar first, secondly,in the bed. That's "Safe Sex." What Bristol and others, are trying to covey the idea of "protected Sex and not "Safe Sex."

    May 6, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Pam

    Wow! You people are cruel! She is a child! I wonder how it will be if one of Obama's daughters gets pregnant down the line! What about Biden's daughter! I've barely heard anything about her and she's an adult! Man! I thought liberals were supposed to be caring people. Oh that's right, they only care about people who agree with them and demonize those who don't regardless of whether or not they're adults or kids. Personally I think that she's a perfect spokesperson to talk to teens about sex and pregnancy! I cannot believe that people can hate so much and then call themselves the party of compassion, but then we could probably also ask Miss California about that as well.

    May 6, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. walleye

    Bristle appears to be a very nice young lady. I believe however she is a little bit late – about 9 months – in trying to teach moral values.

    May 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I hope that girls can learn from her example that if you must have sex, always use protection. I hope that politicians also learn that abstinence only sex education doesn't work. We need to tell teens what is going, what is out there and what the consquences are. These new moms should not be pitied or hated, but used as examples of what not to do. Make sure you know what you are doing and how to protect yourself.

    May 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Don

    If this is news?? I think you should go to any high school and start interviewing the unwed moms there.

    May 6, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Jim

    I have never liked the Palins. But at least she's not out there advocating that teens not use all measures to prevent pregnancy. While I am not a big fan of the abortion as a corrective measure mind set, I do believe that women should be able to make that choice. And I think it's very brave of Bristol to step out and try to make her situation an example so that other teens can learn from it. First smart thing I have seen from this family.

    May 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. lived9lives Southern Oregon

    So Bristol, you're the spokesperson for avoiding teen pregnancy? Why aren't you speaking to the 255 high school students in Alaska who signed petitions begging for sexuality education in their high school? Why don't you talk about what it's really like for most teen mothers – you wouldn't know because you live with parents having assets over $1 million. And whatever happened to Sarah's pleadings about "leave my family alone?" This is equivalent to Donald Trump speaking about how difficult it is to live on food stamps!

    May 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. what a waste

    yep waste of space.. learn from her mistake? She doesnt even allow Levi his parental rights. Okay.. so who will listen once she is told by court she is in the wrong AGAIN?

    May 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. pat

    After reading some of the trash talking from most of you, I cannot believe how small minded you are. Most teenagers are having sex and unprotected. Bristol just got caught and in hindsight, she is aying that abstinence is the best method. Those of you who have never had unprotected sex as a teen, please cast the first stone. I think alot of you just like to see what you have written in print.

    May 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. JimG

    "Do as I say, not as I screw?"

    May 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Jefe

    While it is true that abstinence is the only fool-proof way to prevent pregnancy (if actually followed), it has been proven that providing condoms alone works better than abstinence education alone.

    In my observation, however, good parenting trumps every other form of education, etc. Lucky for Bristol, her mother is rich, or we'd have another welfare recipient to support.

    May 6, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Hey folks!

    You don't need a Palin to tell you how to run your personal sex life.

    Unfortunately, Bristol Palin is still a mommy's girl and it is unfortunate she is raising another "T" baby.

    Just do the right things that matter to you. I think most young people know what the score is and how to avoid pregnancy.

    If you can't get help in your state, go somewhere else. Don't be a victim of ignorance.

    May 6, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5