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. Joycelyn

    obviously she is not leaning towards the Repugs unless she is pulling wool over our eyes. Abstinence does not work period. Unless you want to follow your teen kids everywhere they go or to say the least make it your full time job, don't expect them to live a sex free life. TALK TO THEM, EDUCATE THEM AND IT WILL PAY OFF.

    February 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Mandy, WA

    Great, just what we need–advice from the brainless of the brainless.

    February 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. John

    Perfect example of why these hypocrites need to stay out of office. If you KNOW abstinence education doesn't work and the research says so, you need to educate, not persecute.

    February 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. REG in AZ

    What is not 'realistic' is the whole Sarah Palin family.

    February 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Hopeful Optimist

    I spent 365 days in Alaska some forty years ago. Believe me, at that time abstinence wasn't difficult to maintain - it was next to impossible NOT to abstain out in the wilds of Kodiak Island. Yet I do wonder at times if there's a bear wandering about in the backwoods that resembles me !

    February 17, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Your Choice...

    Dear Bristol: Not all teens or young adults are like you. Some of us actually practice abstinence and have been successful at it. It is unfortunate that you are using your own choices in life – and your failure to measure up to the abstinence goal – as an opportunity to bash those of us who take our pledge to purity before marriage more seriously than you did.

    Take responsiblity for your choice, and celebrate it if that is how you feel; however, don't try to say that since you failed at being abstinent, or since you didn't want to stay abstinent before marriage, that this means the rest of American youth should follow in your footsteps or that we all do so. That just isn't true!

    I'm glad you took responsiblity for your decision and did not try to run from it by having an abortion. At least you are not compounding one mistake with a more severe one.

    February 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. No more sheep

    To Blatherskite and other blithering idiots: Wonder if you liberals and pro-abortionists would still bash her if she had gone the way of abortion....? You Palin haters really need to grow up and move on....the election is over.

    February 17, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  8. Rich

    YAY!! A Palin that makes sense. Bristol 2024!!

    February 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Adam

    Not realistic? Caving to peer pressure does not mean it wasn't realistic; by that token, going through high school without drinking, smoking, or doing drugs is entirely unrealistic as well.

    I'm nearly 24, abstinent by choice and so is my fiance. I also avoided drinking and smoking until college and never did drugs. I'm a better and more accomplished person than the people I know who succumbed to those things simply because they didn't have the backbone to say no. Grow up, people, and have some self-respect. You don't need to do this stuff.

    February 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Angie Layton

    Sex without precautions is not just about having a baby. It is about catching a disease that could kill you. Anytime someone has unprotected sex they are taking their life in their hands just like you would if you were sticking a loaded pistol at your head. The list of killer viruses that you can get from unprotected sex is so long I can't imagine anybody really seriously thinking that the only problem with unprotected sex is an unplanned pregnancy.

    February 17, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. trish

    Now we Preach one set of values for everyone else. But they don't apply to you and your family ! Typical Republican, say one thing and do another.

    February 17, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Jon in CA

    Abortion should be a STATE matter – not a Federal mandate. Each State should be able to create laws to govern the citizens of their state – born or soon-to-be born.

    February 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Sue

    Can someone explain to me...Why is she consider the poster child of "Teen pregnancy "! Sorry, but do she know there are a lot teens that practice abstinent and it they feel a need. They protect themselves b/c they are taught by parents, family members and even some schools are talking about teen sex. BP is not a poster child – and SP needs to stop with this crap of staying in the spot light. She has become the Poster Child for promoting how Education is important. I guess it's OK for her to use her family but the mainstream media shouldn't report it because Sarah will stomp media bias!

    February 17, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. balmorhon

    at least she only had one instead of 8!

    February 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. lis

    So who wants to guess how long it'll be before Bristol & Levi announce they are amicably going separate ways and won't marry? (Which, I think, would be far preferable than them marrying into something neither of them really wants and divorcing in a few years anyway.)

    February 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Fellow Mother

    Wow, people really are bitter. So much so that they think it is okay to attack and unwed teenage mother who it trying to take a realistic viewpoint all because they don't her mother.

    I'm all for sex education – including abstinence as a choice. But I also don't think giving condoms over to a 12 year old and say "hey just do it in our house" is responsible. It comes down to parenting and whether or not you are too lazy or scared of talking to and teaching your kids about sex and their health.

    February 17, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. jdquest

    I think people are missing the point here. Abstinence is the only perfect means of birth control but it takes a lot of willpower, which is difficult for teenagers given all that is coming at them these days. They really shouldn't be left to fall into parenthood too early. They need to be taught that having sex is a choice they are making (not something that just happens to them)and there may be consequences if they don't take the responsibility of using birth control and protection from disease..

    February 17, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. JL

    I think it is very courageous of her to come forward and talk about this. This is an important topic for those of us with teens. Most people who make these mistakes don't come out and admit it was both a gift and a mistake. They rarely talk about the struggle to get through school or start a career. It's a tough path and it's great she is speaking out. I don't much care for Palin's politics, but it seems her daughter is pretty grounded.

    February 17, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Kim

    I can only hope that Sarah Palin would revisit the idea of allowing reproductive choices, since she and her daughter both opted for what they felt was best for them and their family(s). This is what choice is all about. I am pro-choice and I certainly support these 2 women choosing what they felt was in their best interests. But how dare Sarah Palin want to take this same choice for my daughter or grandaughters. And I also can only hope that if she dares to rear her head again on the national political stage, the Democrats will immediately point out how hypocritical her anti-choice, anti-birth control, "abstinence only" platform is. Talk about do-as-I say, not-as-I do.

    February 17, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Cathy

    God help us...

    February 17, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Army Vet in Charlotte

    This really belongs on a "gossip" site and not the CNN ticker.

    February 17, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Sandra

    “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, you say you had a CHOICE. Tell your mom that a woman's right to choose means exactly that.

    February 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Erin

    It sounds like this girl has a bit more sense then her mother... but then again, that's not really news. My toddler does as well.

    February 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. HERBIE

    Bristol's comments are just about as redicoulous as the "Bridge to No where". She thinks that having a child changes ones priorities> Well
    da! Should have thought about priorities and schooling, careers, and the future before they tokk off their clothes. Abstinence "is not realistic". Well I just wonder if anyone told her about contraceptives?
    Like mother, like daughter.

    February 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Pee Wee

    @EAS
    You brightly tell us that "Abstinence does not work."

    Then how do women get pregnant? If they don't engage in the act, no pregnancy, unless you're the Octo-Mom and get in-vitro.

    The point the 18 year old was making that flew over your head was that remaining abstinent is not realistic.

    February 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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