Bristol Palin: Abstinence ‘Is Not Realistic At All’

In 2006, as a gubernatorial candidate, Sarah Palin filled out a questionnaire emphasizing her support for abstinence education. She wrote that “the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.” Alaska does not require sex ed to be taught in schools; Anchorage schools teach “Abstinence Plus,” which emphasizes abstaining from sex.

Palin’s views came under fire when it was revealed that her then-17-year-old daughter Bristol was pregnant. In her first public interview, Bristol told Fox News’ chief Palin cheerleader Greta Van Susteren last night that abstinence is “not realistic at all”:

VAN SUSTEREN: I don’t want to pry to personally, but I mean, actually, contraception is an issue here. Is that something that you were just lazy about or not interested, or do you have a philosophical or religious opposition to it or…

BRISTOL: No. I don’t want to get into detail about that. But I think abstinence is, like — like, the — I don’t know how to put it — like, the main — everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.

Watch it:

When Van Susteren asked Gov. Palin, who joined the interview, about abstinence, she seemed similarly dismissive of her former views on abstinence, admitting, “It sounds naive.” Bristol added, “I just — I hope that people learn from my story and just, like, I don’t know, prevent teen pregnancy, I guess.”


Yet despite its record of failure, conservatives continue to beat the drum for abstinence-only education. Last week, Republicans were angry that “essential” abstinence education funding had been “eliminated” from Obama’s recovery and reinvestment bill. A Republican report on the bill expressed its concern “that while abstinence education receives only $176 million annually…contraceptives and family planning already receive $1.6 billion of federal funding.”