February 17th, 2009
10:43 AM ET
13 years ago

Abstinence 'is not realistic,' Palin's daughter says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/17/artpalinjohnston.gi.jpg caption="Palin says she and Johnston still plan to wed."]

(CNN) – In her first interview since giving birth to son Tripp, Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said it’s not “realistic” to expect abstinence outside of marriage.

Watch: Bristol Palin breaks her silence

“Everyone should be abstinent . . . but it’s not realistic at all,” the 18-year-old told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, adding that having sex as a teenager had become “more and more accepted now” among people her age.

The new mother, who gave birth to Gov. Palin’s first grandchild late last year, said her decision to go forward with an unplanned pregnancy was entirely her own.

“It was my choice to have the baby,” she said, in an interview that aired Monday night. “It doesn’t matter what my mom’s views are on it. It was my decision and I wish people would realize that too.”

Bristol Palin said she would eventually like marry Levi Johnston, her newborn son’s father. But they’ve “been focusing though on just getting through school and getting an education and stuff – getting a career going,” Palin said.

Palin said she was “excited to be a mom” and described her 2-month-old son Tripp as “awesome” and “very, very, very cute,” but said that other teenagers should not follow in her footsteps.

“I think everyone should just wait 10 years,” Palin said. Being a teenage mother “is not glamorous at all . . . your whole priorities change after having a baby.”

Full story

Filed under: Bristol Palin • Sarah Palin
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. Yvenst Miami

    I bet she voted for obama

    February 17, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Scott

    Unfortunately she is probably right. Abstinence is not realistic. With the way sex is splattered all over the place and every TV show says it is ok to sleep around it is hard for kids to say no.

    February 17, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. chucky1169469

    Can anyone whos a conservative explain to me why during the elections you guys and fox news were bashing libarals and the far left on their veiws on teen pregnancy...but yet i go on fox news to read about this story and you guys are all goo goo gaa gaa over this teenage pregnancy. talking about how wonderful it is.....what is that all about?

    February 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Patty in the CA mountains

    It's absolutely NOT realistic. You can teach your children from the day they are born that abstinence is the best way to go, but the day will come when that teaching will be tested and many will fail....and many unplanned and/or unwanted children will be brought into this world to be abused, neglected or abandoned. That is why, hand in hand with abstinence, we must make contraception and counseling and education available to all. Only with all avenues open can this situation be brought under control. Unfortunately there are those that want only one option to be available. How's that working?

    February 17, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Hannah Stevens

    Seems to me the bush administration spent 400 million dollars selling abstinence and it didn't work. For the first time in years teen pregnancy is up. Better to teach young people about sex, how to prevent and when that is not possible how to prevent babies.

    February 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Once you vote Black

    Some people are so promiscuous! Well like mother like daughter.

    February 17, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Matt from Michigan

    I think the larger question here is not so much about choice as it is about responsibility for our choices. Abstinance works to prevent pregancy and STD's. It is not chic, popular, or "exciting" if a person chooses that route. Too soon we stop at the "Right" portion of this argument and do not address the "Responsibility" part of the equation. As a society we have made having children out of wedlock a social norm. People have been doing this for centuries- nothing new here. However the difference is that we have taken out the personal responsibility/accountability for "my decision". Medicaid, food stamps, WIC and other social programs have been used to subsidize someone's "right". Now before any one gets nutso and thinks I hate children, I gladly pay my taxes so all kids get a chance at a good life. That is not my point. Miss Palin has the resources (financial, anyway) to handle this situation. I would argue that the 18-21 year old down the street, going to college while working at Wal-Mart sees the situation differently. You wouldn't see her photo in People magazine. Yet she made the same "choice". No blurb here on CNN can adequately address this subject but a revisit to Values, Responsibility, and Accountability sure wouldn't hurt the fabric of our nation.

    February 17, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I got ten dollars says that Bristol and Levi never wed. Takers, anyone?

    February 17, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. jacobs

    The Palins need to stay in Alsaka where they belong Sarah has no business running anything!!! We dont want to see anymore of you guys please spare us the pain of seeing y'all!

    February 17, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Big Ed

    Teenagers acting on raging hormones is nothing new and the Palin family is not immune. As far as the kids go, I wish them luck as their journey is going to be a challenging one. Godspeed to you.

    On to Sarah: why in the #$% is she sending her daughter out to talk about her situation? Alaska doesn't have enough trouble to keep Sarah busy? Sarah needs to quit preaching and take care of business. That will help her image more than her "holier-than-thou" rhetoric. Somebody muzzle that old battle ax!

    February 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Tex

    I am just wondering if the righ wing/"religious right" is listening!!!!!!!! I am hard pressed to see where God said that you need to be married at the age of 18, so as to have a baby? Those teens who decide to have sex and make it in college...are they not worhy of something too? I believe that every person has an inherent right to choose. you dont suppose that God did not think about it when he gave adam and eve the choice !!!!! Do you think God never new they were going to fail? I am yet to get an explanation for why he decided that he gives them choice ?
    Should we force people to believe.
    Bristol....have alot of sex and i am glad its your choice.
    BTW where are the pro-life lunatics to support the octuplets?

    February 17, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Jane in Windsor, CA

    Better sentence structure than her mother...applaud her "decision" - just want to make sure all women have the opportunity to make a decision on their own. Now folks, don't you think it's time we move on? We've got a lot of work to do and one teenage pregnancy/birth shouldn't make headlines.

    February 17, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. republicans hate america

    oh my god I can wait to hear how her mom will spin this as some gotcha media ploy that forced her stupid daughter to say that.

    February 17, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Lynn: Not a Palin supporter

    Bristol Palin is a very brave young lady who is offering very sound advice to young women. For all of you declaring that they believe in abstinance, that is your choice; however, the knowledge of birth control not only in light of the possiblity of an unwanted pregnancy but of the spread of STDs is knowledge every young person should be given.

    I doubt that many of you really have any idea of what young people are doing!! You seem to feel that risking young people's futures and lives is more important than keeping them safe.

    February 17, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Mike from Ohio

    Republicans are such hypocrites.

    February 17, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. Juan from L.A

    The interview was not bad. At least she answered straight out unlike her mother. What is disturbing is Greta's obsession with this family.

    February 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Phil from Phoenix

    Sarah isn't putting anyone infront of the media, her daughter is speaking out and the media is all over it! And Sarah as much as I support you and are benind you, your daughter is nuts! Abstinence is realestic if you make it. A lack of self control and discipline with opening your legs is something that you chose to do and like everyone else it comes down to a choice. Yes or No, that is the most realestic thing I know!

    February 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. James

    I understand where she is coming from my girl friend got pregnant when we were 18 years old. We got married and kept our baby despite pressure and advise from family and friends to seek an abortion. It put a lot of doubt in her mind and it seemed like there was no one out there supporting our choice. Now 19 years later we have a wonderful son and a fantastic marriage. Every time I look at my son it scares me to think of what might have been.

    February 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. news flash

    Okay! Here is a news flash!

    What should be taught in school is abstinence AND sex-education. Abstinence is not wrong, but neither is sex-ed. Both need to be taught together because knowledge is power. Abstinence is a good answer but sex-ed is also a good answer and depending on how each individual makes their own personal choice decides which information they will utilize.

    But knowledge is power and forewarned is forearmed. Would you send someone out to fight with no armor or weapons? In this instance information is the armor and the weapons needed for them for this situation and to make tactical decisions for their life.

    It is rather ironic/interesting, as many have noted, that it is Sarah Palin's daughter making these comments. However, she should not be penalized for her mother, she is her own individual and needs her own chance to be judged as her own person. Those of you who are being harsh toward her are starting to sound like those whom you dislike so much. Take some time to reflect upon that.

    Try to remember that the issue at hand is abstinence/sex-ed, not Sarah Palin analysis, stay on target.

    I am glad that she said what she did because there are some people that DO "look up" to her and Sarah Palin, difficult as that may seem to me to do. So getting out that message is good even if we may see it as an "old" message from approximately 6000 years ago – it can be new and different for some people – particularly those people that their parents (whom we argue with) are denying them information. Please try to remember because when you say some of the things that you do, you might stop them from feeling like they want to continue down our path because we are "mean" and you will make the other side "right" by the behavior you exhibit.

    February 17, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Terry B.

    Alright, get some popcorn, cat fight on the way...

    February 17, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. rodlang

    Perhaps a member of the Palin family does have a political future....Britol Palin. She make more sense than her mother.

    February 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Religious Left

    Not sure why any of this is news/NOT, anymore except in Alaska where her Mom is the Gov...... but I for one will be glad when we do not have to be bombarded with Palinistis! I am sure she is a nice lady and charming but she does not have the smarts to be in any higher office than her present one. SO>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Let us get on with life and get over this election and get this country straightened out from the blunders of the last few years! Palin was a big misstep for McCain , Bush was a mess as a President and none of the judgemental GOP seem to be able to accept it. Most of them seem to just want to tear down not build up! By being so devisive their numbers and approval rating keep going down. Why can't they come together to help the Dems fix what is wrong , which they helped create instead of the sour grapes being spewed out by hate talk radio and in every interview..

    February 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Chris from NY

    Life is not black and white. You sometimes apply reason to the rule of law. It's sad you and your Mom had to learn the hardway.

    February 17, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Wolf-Woman Palin Charlotte, NC

    "Abstinence 'is not realistic,' Palin's daughter says."

    Well, in that case get your mommie to start promoting birth control.

    February 17, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Pat F

    Mickie, be careful, your madness is showing.

    February 17, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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