Bristol Palin Says Abstinence Is Not Realistic

In her first public intervie , Bristol Palin, the 18-year-old daughter of Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin, sat down with On the Record's Greta Van Susteren to discuss teen pregnancy


Bristol Palin Says Abstinence Is Not Realistic

“You should just wait 10 years … it would be so much easier”

-Stephanie Elliot

Bristol Palin and TrippIn her first public interview, Bristol Palin, the 18-year-old daughter of Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin, sat down with On the Record’s Greta Van Susteren to discuss teen pregnancy and what life is like now that she’s got a new man: her not quite 2-month-old baby, Tripp.

Bristol scheduled the interview but didn’t tell her parents until the day before it was set to be taped. She wanted a chance to let other young people hear her story so they might reconsider having sex. “I’d love to [be] and advocate to prevent teen pregnancy because it’s not, like, a situation that you would want to strive for, I guess,” says the new mom.

It may not be an ideal situation, but Bristol is making the best of it.

While she says Tripp is up at least half the night, she has help throughout the day from five generations, from her great-great grandmother to her youngest sister, Piper, who is great at making bottles and grabbing diapers. Piper should be a pro at helping with babies, considering her younger brother, Trig, won’t even turn 1 until April (and he’s Tripp’s uncle!).

When Greta treaded lightly on the subject of contraceptive, Bristol politely said she didn’t want to get into details. She did say she thought everyone should be abstinent but that it wasn’t very realistic because “it’s more and more accepted now.”

Having teenage sex might be more and more accepted now, but Bristol stated to Greta that her life is not glamorous; she is exhausted … “It’s just, like, I’m not living for myself anymore. It’s, like, for another person, so it’s different.”

Bristol, allow me to welcome you to motherhood!

She admits that it would have been so much easier to be married, have an education, be in a house, but she doesn’t regret it at all, only that she wishes “it would have happened in 10 years, rather than right now.” However, she feels lucky and blessed to be surrounded by her family and to be receiving all of the help she does get.

Bristol recalls telling her parents the news of her pregnancy (sounds much like how it happened in the movie Juno):

“We were sitting on the couch, my best friend and Levi, and we had my parents come and sit on the couch, too. And we had my sisters go upstairs. And we just sat them down, and I just – I couldn’t even say it. I was just sick to my stomach. And so finally, my best friend just, like, blurted it out. And it was just, like – I don’t even remember it because it was just, like, something I don’t want to remember.”

Bristol mentioned that after schooling, she and Levi would like to get settled with their careers and get married, and that he is a “really hands-on dad. He’s just in love with him as much as I am.” Bristol said that Levi sees Tripp every day. He is currently helping his father and finishing school.

Sarah Palin made a surprise visit during during the interview and brought in Tripp. Bristol, in true new-mom fashion, just lit up, and gathered her baby in her arms. Sarah admitted that at first, the news of Bristol’s pregnancy was shocking, but now, she says of her daughter:

“I’m proud of her … wanting to take on an advocacy role and, you know, just let other girls know that this is – it’s not the most ideal situation, but certainly, make the most of it. And Bristol is a strong and bold young woman and she is an amazing mom. And this little baby is very lucky to have her as a mama. He’s going to be just fine. We’re very proud of Bristol.”

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0 thoughts on “Bristol Palin Says Abstinence Is Not Realistic

  1. I was not a fan of Sarah Palin as vice-president, and I don’t share a lot of her political views … but she seems like such a great mom, and Bristol Palin also seems like a sweet, sweet girl. It’s great for her to speak out about how hard it is being a teen mom … but I still wonder if somehow teem pregnancy is becoming more acceptable in society, no matter what Bristol says now (or Jamie Lynn or any of the high profile girls our daughters admire). I’m not sure what the solution is — certainly not to shun teen mothers! I guess it’s just about education and good parenting, and making the best of things, as the Palins are doing, admirably.

  2. I think personally, Bristol has got it made. I’m sure throughout the day, if she’s tired, all she has to say is, “Hey, can someone watch Tripp, I want to take a nap.” There are like a ton of people in that house to watch the kid. It’s very hard to feel sympathy for her situation. She’s got a lot of support. She truly is blessed, one of the lucky ones. I don’t know what it’s like for her in the middle of the night, but I “BETCHA” (say that in Sarah Palin’s accent) that Sarah or Todd might come to the rescue every now and then to relieve their very tired daughter, “dontchaknow?”

  3. Well, I typed a response but it disappeared since I wasn’t logged in I guess. Anyways. her experience as being a teen Mom is not the reality for most teen mothers. I am sure the baby is well provided for and help is only a few minutes away. Unfortunately alot of young Mom’s don’t have that luxury. I do feel she is correct that just preaching abstinence is not the answer. The reality is kids are having sex. Since my kids were old enough to understand, I have made it clear I wish they would wait until they were mature enough and ready to handle all the consequences. However I have also made it clear that if they chose to become sexually active, I want them to come to me to make sure they are protected and trust me, the one that is did come to me. Would I rather he had waited, absolutely. But it’s not just about birth control anymore, it’s about saving our kids lives.

  4. LittleQueenie–you sound like a great mom–this is how I am teaching my children, and my oldest is 11 but we talk about things, and keep our conversations open so he is learning how our family feels about things and he will know when the time comes that he can come to me if he needs to! I do believe teens are not going to say NO because their parents tell them to (come on, DID WE??) …

  5. Hey Mean Betty,Evil Nevie here. I honestly can’t say anything bad here. Kids makes mistakes-things happen. You can talk to your kids till your blue in the face, but ultimately they make their own choices. Bristol is lucky to have the support. She’s taking resposibility. She is speaking against teen pregnancy and wants to be an advocate. She should be commended, not repremmended. Now someone who has 14 kids, well that’s a different story……

  6. Claiming her social status gives Bristol a better chance with support et al, is a slap in the face of all of us of lower class who have been there for our kids. My oldest we helped with was born in 1981; my daughter was just shy of 20. My husband was retired Air Force, we the “perfect family,” husband and I church leaders. So on, and on. The kids make their own decisions regardless. Wish I could go on and give you details of my situation, but there’s no space and time available. However, ask and I’ll tell. The slap on my face is red and still burns about she and her son having it better than my daughter and her daughter just because of a social status, not even $$$. Every mom and dad who have stepped in and helped a child in this situation needs an apology. Google ” Grands Raising Grands ” to see what we were doing back in the 90s for support of our children and for us as we gave up our lives for our children.

  7. OK, frustrating, just lost my comment but will try again–this is in response to RagdollBillie (though hoping not to make any enemies my first post at Betty!). unsure why you’re feeling slapped (your face burns?) and defensive–am sure you’ve provided much for your grandchild and in helping your teen daughter. I don’t see in article or any comments anything about social status giving Bristol’s baby a better chance–the comments are more about having “lots of support” in the household. In Bristol’s case there are many generations around and that’s always helpful in such cases (not to mention she’s living at home and supported (emotionally) there, will be in good position to go back to school & have childcare etc. This certainly isn’t dismissive of your efforts or any grandparent’s efforts (regardless of income level) in such a situation. But let’s also be honest–of course being in a wealthier family makes it easier to pay for childcare when needed, have access to healthcare (particularly in U.S.), just common sense). Still it is people (and/or community) support that helps most. (Tyra Banks recently showcased young teens who WANT to get pregnant, disturbing, no sense of the time or responsibility involved.) I myself grew up living with a grandmother–this can honestly happen (unexpectedly) to any grandparent regardless of how old their children are when they choose to have children. As an adult, I can better appreciate the position she was put in. Take care.

  8. I really agree with Bristol on one thing just teaching abstinence is not realistic. When I was a teenager my mom always said I could come to her about sex, but just to make sure I didn’t get pregnant she put me on the pill when I was 15. Then my parents had these friends who had a 15 year old daughter and they found out she was having sex. My mom practically begged her friend to put her daughter on the pill and give her condoms. But mom’s friend who is very religious said she could never put her daughter on the pill because that would be giving her permission to have sex. My mom’s response was obviously she doesn’t need your permission. Well the girl got pregnant at 16. It seems that all my friends who had parents who were so closed about sex had kids before they were 20. Like I said my mom was open with me and I didn’t get pregnant until I was 28 years old and had been married for almost 6 years. So people please open your eyes and be open with your kids and know if they are going to have sex they will do it no matter what you say.

  9. Teri, I want to be the kind of parent that your mom is. Absolutely! Teens are not going to be abstinent! Right now, my 11 year old son is learning about sex, and he “thinks” it’s gross. I keep telling him to come talk to me when he is 16 or 17.

    And RagdollBillie, nothing is meant to be a slap in the face. It’s just meant to say that those with money might have it easier. It’s just a fact. It certainly doesn’t mean that a person won’t love and take care of a child more or do their best to support in an unforseen situation. If there’s more money, there’s the possibility that the child can be put in daycare so the teen can finish high school maybe? That’s the mindset here, I’m thinking? No intent to offend, you know me! : ) Be well!

  10. You’ve got to give the girl some credit…she’s brave to tell all in front of the cameras! And it’s a reality teens ARE having sex…and Bristol is right…abstinence is not realistic at all!

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