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. kathy

    It's a shame that sarah palin felt the need to have her daughter "speak out" as to teen pregnancy to keep herself in the news!....and this by the way is NOT news! Abstinence can work if you're determined to stay focused and keep your legs closed. The truth of this matter...Palin was NOT a good attentive mother...you have to stay involved w/your children...be available...listen and ask tough questions!...sarah palin was to busy being selfish!

    February 17, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. me

    Abstinence, along with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the sensible republican, are fairy tales that you should speak to your kids about as soon as they can understand.

    February 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. Jefferson Handcock

    EHS we taught my daughters Abstinence by teaching them about sex! Though I'm a Democrat, I am also a Christian, born again believer, and Abstinence works if taught correctly; having said that we dont really know what our kids do so everybody that has not experienced teen pregnancy needs to shut up!

    February 17, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Monique


    February 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. jill

    Bristol should recognize the importance of sex education and contraceptives! I hope she encourages other teens to behave smarter than her!

    February 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Ken in NC

    Abstinence is a reasonable expectation as long as you remain in LaLaLand. I think maybe Gov. Sarah Palin should listen to her daughter. She might learn something.

    Also there is nothing glamorous about having a child. It is rewarding if you raise the child and provide. I remember times when I wondered if my daughter was going to live to see the next day with some of the thoughts she had but she had one good thing going for her. PARENTS. She parents that accepted her and always made her aware of the fact that if she had questions about anything, she had only to ask and she would get an answer. We raised her with the opinion that if she could ask, she could understand.

    Now that our "HEADACHE" is grown and on her own our child raising years were fun and glorious. Even now when she is home, we all sit and laugh about a lot of things that happened to her in her childhood and she relates to us how glad she is now that she was sometimes angered by some of our decisions as the related to her. Now our daughter is our best friend.

    In fact when I got sick she came home and cared for me and she took over and was the boss. Now that made us both feel like we were successful parents.

    February 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Marc in Virginia

    A lot of you liberals on hear confound me. You criticize her mother when she preaches abstinence, then criticize her Bristol when she says absitnence is unrealistic. Make up your minds! You come off as being petty, mean-spirited folks. I hope YOU never pro-create.

    February 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Holy Mary

    I am a Nun...never had none, don't want none!

    February 17, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Minnesotan

    The whole family is a bunch of whack jobs. We really dodged a bullet when McLame and Palin were shot down in flames. Too bad we can't shoot Republicans from helicopters, as Sarah is so fond of doing to innocent animals.

    February 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Staunch Democrat



    February 17, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Roberto

    Abstinence only education is about as smart as trying to legislate morality. You can't change 20,000 years of human development with a pen.

    Interesting that Fox news actually let this interview air. The way they edit and distort I would have thought it ended up in the dumpster.

    February 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. Al, NY NY

    Hooray for the unwed teenage mother! I guess Caribou Barbie/Lipstick Fido will have to have a "talk" with her now since she's basically torpedoed her mom's irrational demand of "no sex before marriage." Go Sarah. I'm gonna register as a Republican so I can make you the sacrificial lamb in 2012. You're gonna get your backside handed to ya you betcha

    February 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Doug, New Jersey

    Her life has been valuable in saving our dying nation. View the comments here about her from liberal Democrats and you can see that they are nothing without their hate, lies, and hypocrasy.

    If you have a shred of decency, feel just the slightest discomfort when you lie, distort the truth, or engage in a double standard or hypocrasy, then it is time to make a commitment to never support an evil, anti-American, lies over truth, double standard loving hypocrite Democrat for the rest of your life. It is now time to stand for and fight for what is right, decent, fair, and the principles of what has made this nation great.

    Think about the comments that every liberal Democrat has made about Bristol, then think about how a majority of them support killing a baby who comes out alive that quote/unquote "should have been aborted". Think about their bs comments about Obama as they shout the n word at Micheal Steele. Is this the type of person you are?

    February 17, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Kevin Morgan

    Sara gave the kids until 2011 to get married. .

    February 17, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Dan

    She sounds so, so much smarter than her mother. I'd rather have Bristol as veep than Sarah...

    February 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. dave

    Well, she has half of the Republican idea down: do as I say, not as I do. She needs to work on the other half though: it doesn't matter what's realistic, stick to your ideas even in the face of absurdity. She's young, I'm sure she'll learn.

    February 17, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Linda K.

    I'm not a member of the religious right and I've voted Republican only once in my life (never for president) but I do believe abstinence can work, depending on the child and the family environment. It takes some real hard hands-on parenting, starting when they're young and long before they hit their teens. Granted, I have only boys, but our religion requires them to remain abstinent until marriage. It's not impossible.

    People are tired of hearing this, but I think the media does play a role. I don't want to see naked people, men or women, on my TV screen–and many of these are shown in commercials so it's not a matter of choosing your programs. We don't get cable and we watch only at certain times, but TV is almost never safe unless we stick with PBS.

    February 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Andy


    February 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. FreeNLovIt

    With proper rules and supervision, it is. Do you see 70 million other teenagers pregnant?

    February 17, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. dwayne

    Obama Victim
    looking forward to having the Palin family in the White House in 2013


    We all can hope and dream, too bad that will never happen in this or any lifetime!

    February 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Mike in Houston

    ya...we need a lecture by an 18 year old teen mother who apparently has not heard about birth control methods.

    February 17, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Danielle

    Wow, I don' t think an "advocate" (as she claims she wants to be) would advise teenagers to "wait ten years." How is that birth control? Waiting ten years doesn't mean a person is ready to have a baby.

    February 17, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Duane in Philly

    Yes Bristol, abstinence is not realistic. However, safe sex IS realistic, and anyone engaging in sex should use protection–not only to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but to avoid the transmission of STDs.

    February 17, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Kim

    She's right. And nice to see she's smarter than her mother.

    Listen, if you really expect teenagers and yes, even children (ie: Alfie in UK) to abstain from having sex you are deluding yourself. They're going to do it no matter what. That's how it is today.

    So do yourself and everyone else a favor and educate your children about sex and make sure that they protect themselves.

    It's only realistic. Unfortunate. But realistic.

    February 17, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. David

    I feel sorry for her...

    First of all, it's easy to follow/blend with large groups because they regret for what they did. So, they feel relieved to know they are NOT alone.

    Secondly, abstinence is absolutely realistic without doubt. People had been mocking, but they ended up regretting to acknowledge that I am right for standing firmly in what I believe. I prefer not to follow people to have sex just like animals to have sex with any other animals in sight.

    We humans are more superior than animals. Of course, if you believe sex out of marriage is all right, that's fine with me. Just don't preach me because I don't preach...

    So, I am speaking for myself because I DISAGREE with her...

    Sarah... Good luck... And I didn't agree with you as POLITICAL LEADER... SORRY...

    February 17, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12