A journalist observes life in the far north.
It’s only by the grace of God—I am not a believer but I love the expression—that I did not wind up pregnant at age 17. If I had, I don’t know what I would gave done. A couple of my friends did get pregnant. One had an abortion only to get knocked up again in short order. She had that baby. Another friend had her baby and quit school. Now that I think about it, they both quit school. Neither went on to college.
These women toughed it out. They were dirt poor (I guess we all were in our late teens and early 20s), raising their daughters as best they could, sometimes with the help of family or the state and sometimes not. I saw what they went through. It was all about survival. They have a lot to be proud of but I wouldn’t wish it on anybody and I don’t think they would either.
Today, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is Sen. John McCain’s running mate, announced that her 17-year-old daughter is due to have a baby in December. In a press release, the governor says she is proud of her daughter’s decision to have the baby. Palin is an opponent of legalized abortion.
I come from the line of thinking that abortion is no more traumatic than becoming a mother when you are still a kid. I called another friend who had a baby quite young. She agreed with me. I wonder if Palin appreciated that her daughter had a choice. That abortion was an option.
My daughter is almost 11 months old. My plan is to slip birth control pills in her cereal after she turns 15. I hope that if I find myself in the situation that Palin has found herself, abortion is still an option for my daughter.