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. Chris from NC

    It's funny that after Obama kicked McCain-Palin to the curb, Sarah Palin suggested in another botched TV interview that if she was a Democrat, she would've been treated more fairly. I beg to differ –BIG TIME!!!!! Let's put this into perspective: if Sarah Palin was a Democrat, the GOP and the religious right would've attacked the bejesus out of her and the liberal left because her daughter had a kid out of wedlock. It's laughable to see them back off their high-horse and tolerate fornication and unwed mothers for the sake of expedience.

    February 17, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Joe in NJ

    "Ifeanyi John February 17th, 2009 10:51 am ET

    Ms. Bristol Palin should tell that to Republican Party and her mom that it is ok to be a teen mother. Oh don't forget the Religeous Right"

    Sorry, but it's not okay to be a teen mother. Just watch Jerry Springer and Maury Povich to find out why.

    February 17, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Monrob

    One Palin with an intelligent mind.

    February 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Nick

    In spite of some of the comments here, I think Bristol, sounds alitle more realistic than her mom, and alot more intelligent. I bet she grows up to be a democrate.

    February 17, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. YoungGrad

    Oh thank you! Finally we have the proof we need that abstinence only education is ineffective. I never thought the verification we needed would come from a Palin though.

    Good for her?

    February 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Sebastian, Baton Rouge, LA

    So, let me get this straight, Bristol Palin is completely ignoring Biblical principals to satiate her own lustful whims.

    Then Mommy tells the media, that the family discussed her situation regarding the pregnancy and that Bristol decided to have her baby...wiat...Bristol actually had a choice...oh I see.

    Got it.

    February 17, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Irma in North Carolina

    I wonder how come they didnt put a picture of baby on here. I watched the interview on fox and must a admit she sounds a lot smarter than her mother. I dont like Sarah and I never will but i do wish Bristol the best with her baby and hope that she can make a future for the two of them.

    February 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Rob

    Of course it's not realistic if you're a spoiled brat with no willpower or character.

    February 17, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. R in Maine

    Maybe Alaska wants to use its share of the stimulus to make Sarah Palin another Octomom.

    February 17, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. America

    To those of you who want to turn everything into a Repulican or Democratic debate. Let's take a look at the recent headlines of the mother who just had 8 babies with 6 at home with no job, no future income and living on food stamps. Let's take bets on which side of the political fence she is on! Give me a break.

    February 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Steve, FL

    Abstinence-only education in place of actual sex education and sexual repression in general doesn't work?

    I am shocked!

    February 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Thomas

    If the Palin family wishes to be left alone then they should not be making public interviews.

    This interview will now make Bristol a fair target for the press.

    You can't have privacy and then make public interviews. You have to choose one or the other.

    February 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. TX

    Nice to see that she used the word "choice". One word that her mother doesn't believe in...

    February 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. jummai

    it appears to me that this daughter of Palin cannot understand her mother's religious pretension of righteousness.

    February 17, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Common sense

    What a breath of fresh air – common sense. She speaks her mind; tell the truth even if it offends some; takes responsibility, but maturely advises other teens NOT to follow her lead. She has got a good head on her shoulders - just like Mom

    February 17, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Republican Victim

    I just wish that all those Republicans that are for abstinence only programs are willing to help out teen parents when they do find themselves pregnant. Republicans talks so much about how they are against abortion but yet are not willing to help teens who choose to have their children by funding... welfare (gasp!). Hypocritical. Not everyone is rich like Bristol and many teens who become pregnant will have to rely on welfare. I hope the Republicans are listening!!!

    February 17, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Fritz

    Good luck Bristol! We are wishing you well!

    February 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Willa

    Abstinence may not be realistic for Sarah Palin's kids, but maturity and responsibility sure need to be. If an unmarried mother is not yet financially capable or mature enough to raise a child on her own, then the problem becomes everyone else's. Is that realistic enough for some people?

    February 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. sngeorgia

    Boy, aren't these people confusing! Having unprotected sex is dangerous. No teenage mother having a baby is joyous without an education, a job, a husband, a home. Hypocrites.

    February 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Deb

    The country have serious issues and right now Palin's daughter isn't one of them

    February 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Denise

    Abstinence isn't necessarily unrealistic - it's unrealistic for some people and realistic for others. What is needed is sex education that talks about everything from abstinence to safe sex. Teens - as well as adults - need to know all of their options and how to deal with all of them.

    February 17, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. woody

    Like Mother like daughter; making STUPID comments all the time.
    Being a teen Unwed mom is NOT ok in this society. Your priorities and values are screwed up because of your family values. His family has a mother with a drug problem. Your family has a mother with screwy brain function too. Abstinence is not reality and tolerance for drug users shows that your really a closet liberal and Not conservative.

    February 17, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Julianna LeBlanc

    Its too bad many on the left truly don't understand the conservatives position on abstinence. Its the best course of action, but not always realistic. One should always teach the highest values to ones children.
    Do you on the left NOT teach your kids to NOT drink and drive? Do you teach your children not to cheat? How about not smoke, not to succumb to peer pressure, not to lie, not to talk back to those in positions of authortity be they teachers, police officers, or even parents themselves?
    Do you teach them to respect the law, their teachers, their parents, law enforcement officials?

    Liberals say its okay – abstinence isn't realistic, try birth control,
    ( which I used twice and got pregnant on both times) get laid, and then abort the baby because it was a mistake, it's a nuisance, and actions have consequences that can be ignored or killed off.

    Conservatives understand abstinence isn't going to be applied all the time, but should a teen falter, we also teach them with actions comes responsibility. you don't kill off a fetus because you felt 'abstinence wasn't realistic" had sex and got pregnant.

    Bristol took responsibility for her non abstinence. Thats more than I can for the over 25 million liberals that have killed their unborn children while waxing poetically about how 'abstinence isn't realistic".

    February 17, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Chris, Albany, NY

    Well, at least the girl has SOME sense. It's going against a republican talking point saying that abstinence is the best course???

    February 17, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Matt - MN

    I really only have one problem with this and that is the fact that a teenage mother is telling us abstinance for teens is not realistic. Well for Bristol obviously it is not - but somehow millions of other teens get through their high school and college years by waiting to have sex. Others go to planned parenthood and take the necessary steps to prevent this.

    But what amazes me is that so often these teen pregnance cases come from kids whose parents are neo-conservatives like Gov. Palin. They stand up and preach about values that no one can really live up to and then their children are having children. Guess what, kids rebel and if you make sex seem like a dirty thing, then of course these kids are going to go out and find folks to have it with.

    Parents need to talk with their kids about sex as they enter their teens so that they know it's a wonderful thing, but also that there's always a chance of getting pregnant no matter how much contraception you use. And let them know how much kids do change one's life. The Parents who are doing this are seeing their children make smart choices and don't have kids until they can affort to without the help of the state.

    February 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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