Bristol Palin is getting a lot of flack right now for speaking out in favor of abstinence. As a teen mother of a baby boy she gave birth to in December, Bristol has taken to the airwaves to let teens know that the best way to prevent teen pregnancy is abstinence. This brings the critics out of the woodwork. She is a hypocrite according to many. Especially those who do not believe that abstinence is a practical choice for young women.
If a teen traveled around the country talking to their peers about the dangers of underage drinking because they did it and killed someone while driving, does that make them a hypocrite, or one who has experience with a very serious issue? Is the former teen drug abuser who gives lectures to other teens about the dangers that face them if they abuse drugs a hypocrite? They are hailed, as they should be, as strong individuals who are telling the world about their heartache and hopefully will help others make better decisions in life. Of course, with Bristol Palin, we are only talking about sex. Not that big a deal, right? Teens are going to do it anyway, so the important thing is to teach them how to protect themselves.
As a mother of young children who are going to eventually face this issue and make choices for themselves, I want them to hear from someone with experience on it. Kids these days are extremely concerned about how they look, the brand of clothing they wear, and what kind of shoes they wear. Should they not be just as or more concerned about when they have sex? I applaud Bristol Palin for her message and know that it is probably very difficult for someone so young to take on the message and the criticism. Giving birth and taking care of a baby is not glamorous or something to be taken lightly and neither is having an abortion. I think it is extremely important for our young girls to know everything about the consequences of sexual activity. What better way than a real person, your own age, speaking from experience.
It doesn't surprise me that the father of Bristol's baby, Levi Johnston, responded that abstinence is "not realistic." Any teenage girl who has had a boyfriend understands the pressure that is put on her to engage in sexual activity as well as the casual reference to it in the world everyday. I hope that more young girls stand up to the pressure of teen sex and say no to it. I would like them to realize that abstinence is a decision to be proud of and that becoming sexually active at an early age is not a step to maturity. Having the courage and knowledge to say no, in the face of pressure, is.