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. Molly Weasley

    It's important to stress abstinence - ALONG WITH teaching young teens about sexually transmitted diseases and birth control methods. Teens need to make fully informed decisions.

    February 17, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    lol...why couldn't she have been the VP nominee? HAHAH!

    February 17, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. M. Townsend

    As one who votes for more democratic candidates and a father (in wedlock) I say best wishes to the young lady and all the luck and family support she can get. She's just human and has not preached what she did not practice or believe in or forced her views on any constituent or voters nor impeded anyone doing what's right or best for themselves.

    Now as to her mum's politics I'll leave that to another comment (or probably not bother at all since at least the overall country has rendered their judgement on that).

    February 17, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Pat

    I am positively surprised by Bristol for

    1- mentioning that absitnence DOES NOT WORK
    2- mentioning that it was her DECISION

    As much as I despise her mother's right wing condervative views I do respect Bristol's DECISION. This is what pro-choice and comprehensive sex education is about. You have a right to make a decision and learning about birth contol and reproductive health
    I hope her mother is actually listening to what her daughter is saying.

    February 17, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Debbie

    Why does Sarah Palin blast the media for talking about her children and then in the next minute parades them in front of cameras for all the world to see. Does anyone really even care what the heck Bristol Palin thinks anyway? This is just a sad case of Sarah Palin once again using her children for political purposes. "Well golly gee we havent been in the national news for a few days now..I know lets put Bristol on the TV talking about her baby so then I can parade in lobbing Tripp around like a little political prop just like I did with Trigg...That will keep us in the media spotlight, you betcha *wink wink*.

    PATHETIC

    February 17, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Obama 2.0

    If it was so easy it wouldn't be so hard 😉

    February 17, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Bud

    Wait ten years after what? This girl has all the good sense of her mother, poor thing.

    February 17, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Samuel

    Yep!! Now we need another reality show on TV called

    "Babies as made by the Palin's".

    Can you imagine that?

    February 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. David L

    O.k., maybe we don't need to be lectured by her, but is she wrong? No. The abstinence approach doesn't work, period. Most of the kids preaching it in schools are just as likely to have sex as anyone else. It has been tried in less developed foreign nations in an attempt to stem the spread of AIDS with no success. Thailand is a good example. After the education shifted from abstinence to the benefits of using condoms, the new incidence of HIV actually decreased. THAT is a real result.
    People need to be realistic when finding ways of changing human behaviors. Asking people to not have sex (outside of marriage) is simply asking too much. It's a greater sacrificing than giving up eating a food group, which most people won't do. Asking people to use a condom is only a relatively minor change in behavior.

    February 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Cruzan Obama Mama

    She is exactly correct. I applaud her for being more realistic and level headed than her mother and the rest of the Repubs. Abstinence is the best, but with all that kids are exposed to right now it is not probable. There are a few that have lived steadfastly to the rule by not becoming sexually active until marriage, but we all know that they are few & far between.

    She is standing by her own and making her own decisions, which is great when thinking about her family history. I think she is making a brave statement and move, by showing teens that it is not easy and there are consequences for being sexually active.

    One thing though....Isn't funny how Momma Bear Palin popped in on the interview just like McCain did for her? Guess she had to come in there and regulate. She does have her entertaining career to maintain. LOL!!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Slider

    "“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."

    Right.

    Give in to our "urges" because we can't possibly do the right thing.

    This is a product of our public education system and the refusal to teach critical thinking.

    Maybe Darwin was correct about what we descended from.

    February 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Ideological bigot

    Why does it seem that every story is another excuse for bashing of the right?

    February 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Melanie

    I've seen one poster on here . . . EAS I believe spouting off about the religious right and how they don't teach their kids about sex. A blatant stereotype. First, I disagree with Bristol Palin, abstinence is "realistic" if that's what you decide. I have 2 daughters and I have talked to them openly about sex. I have talked to them about birth control, what happens and what options are available if said birth control doesn't work and I included abstinence in that conversation. Yes, ultimately, my daughters will decide for themselves what to do when it comes to sex as a teenager, however, I think it's absolutely irresponsible as a parent NOT to present abstinence as an alternative. The "everybody is doing it" scenario, doesn't really exist. Yes, there are a lot of teens having sex, but I think you can use what happened here with Bristol to illustrate why abstinence may be the smarter choice. Here in NY we have a "Not me, Not now" campaign and there are kids that have responded well to that message.

    Teach your kids ALL the options. Teach them about sex but teach them that it's OK to be strong and decide for themselves.

    February 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. DJR

    Why so foul! What"s with all the negativity? This happens some 3 or 4 million times a year! Teens know about the pill, they know they can have the baby killed, but it doesn't stop pregnancies! For 30 years it hasn't stopped the great advertised democratic life style of if it feels good do it! Drugs? Legalize it! Drink? Just don't drive! Sex? It's great! Wear only a tie with nude men laying around you for the cover of a magazine at the grocery check out. Do it! Every teenage boy in America wants sex, every one of them! Every one wants to be loved! Hollywood, magazines and pop culture tell us everyday sex is love! Sex in the city. Sex on Oprah. The sex diet. Family planning is the porn stimulus package. Guess we should really ask why does life have to be so difficult for young people? Why the great loneliness? What I've read about the Palins' is they have a successful family life. Why's that?

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

    Abstinence is realistic if your life is truly grounded on God, the creator, and in His word. Yes the plan, for everyone, is completely laid out in His word, if you have the spiritual vision to read and follow what He commands.

    February 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Cruzan Obama Mama

    Just thought of something....during the campaign Palin said that her daughter and Levi would be married in the summer. Her daughter is quoted as saying "eventually." I guess that was just to get elected. That is hilarious!!!!!!!!

    I guess the Repubs moral values excludes lying or maybe she had her fingers crossed behind her back when she was saying it.

    February 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    @ Matt, who said "I'll give it to Bristol..."

    Levi already beat you to it.

    February 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Ellie

    Excuse me, but how old is this GIRL. Exactly.

    What's wrong with you people? The nerve of Bristol to even advise anyone about "abstinence" is absurd on all levels. That's like taking a birth control pill after you found out your pregnant. I'm so TIRED of WHITE women using these lame excuses AFTER-THE-FACT. You can't claim to be innocent or the victim, AFTER DOING THE NASTY. Are you kidding me?

    Bristol got CAUGHT LYING, just like her mother Sarah Palin HID her pregnancy for her own family. Once a liar always a liar. The only reason they came out with the so-called truth is because THEY GOT CAUGHT IN A LIE by the media!!!

    Bristol didn't care about being "abstinent" until the REALITY of her pregnancy HIT THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL and both her and her mother Sarah were found out as the liars they truly are!!! So NOW they are talking like they are the "role model's of the world? Talk about trailer trash mentality at it's best. Sarah Palin has been nothing but manipulative, selfish, and self centered on her own political amibitions and that of her "First Dude" that her OWN daughter HID her pregnancy from her. Gee, I wonder where she learned that behavior. Like mother, LIKE daughter. It's just that simple.

    If this was a Latino or African American woman, this blog would be eating them alive!!! There would be no mercy. What a bunch of bigots.

    February 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. bill

    Nick, if Bristol is intelligent as you stated ( which I agree with ), she would definately not be a democrat. Most democrats I know, as seen in the media, are completely out of their minds. Have you heard some of these people who think because Obama is President that they somehow will be "saved" and may become rich now or wont have to buy certain things cause the government will give it to them.. blah blah, please these people are in lala land with the tooth fairy.

    February 17, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Steven

    I am very concerned about the some of the hateful speach dirrected towards the young Miss Palin. Miss Palin most certainly could have articulated her self better, however she is very young and being forced to express her self in a venue that is unfair to any teenager. Miss. Palin regardless of her oratory skills she states something that is true, it is unrealistic to expect every teenager to make the same decision about sex. I do believe that it is realistic to believe that teenagers can be taught and expected to make educated decisions about sex and this is the realm in which discussions should be held. How to teach teenagers about sex certainly needs to be reevaluated,

    February 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. dennisk

    I'll try and stay rational, even though I feel like chewing through my keyboard...
    Agreed, Genius Bristol, that expecting abstinence–noble aspiration though it be–in hormone-infused teens is... ahem... "unrealistic." Let me therefore posit that perhaps one should encourage the prevention of unwanted pregnancies through the responsible use of appropriate birth control (there are many, many options to choose from).
    Perhaps if this pathetic young girl had a better relationship with her distant and pedantic mother, this whole tragic mess might have been averted.

    February 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. tishoogle

    Palin people go away!!!!

    February 17, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Teen from WI

    I'd just like to make sure daughter Palin knows that just because most teens decide to do it doesn't mean everyone does and doesn't make it right.

    I've been in a serious relationship for three years and my girlfriend and I have decided to wait until we are married.

    We don't look down upon others who choose not to, if they're in a serious relationship that is their decision.

    But, abstinence is realistic because if you truly love each other, sex is not the most important aspect of the relationship. It can wait, if you want it to.

    February 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Teen from WI

    I'd just like to make sure daughter Palin knows that just because most teens decide to do it doesn't mean everyone does and doesn't make it right.

    I've been in a serious relationship for three years and my girlfriend and I have decided to wait until we are married.

    We don't look down upon others who choose not to, if they're in a serious relationship that is their decision.

    But, abstinence is realistic because if you truly love each other, sex is not the most important aspect of the relationship. It can wait, if you want it to.

    February 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  25. Ted

    i wonder how accepting people would be if this was a black or latino teen?

    February 17, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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