Sarah Palin announces her teenage daughter is pregnant.

In a statement released just as Hurricane Gustav was striking the Gulf Coast, Sarah Palin and her husband announced their 17-year old daughter is pregant and plans to keep the baby. “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that, as parents, we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned,” the Palins wrote. “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” McCain officials said the news of the daughter’s pregnancy was being released to rebut what one aide called “mud-slinging and lies” circulating on liberal blog sites.

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The Huffington Post recalls that in November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped.

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,Ben Smith notes that Palin has previously said she would not support “explicit sex-ed programs.”

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,”Senior McCain campaign officials said McCain knew of the daughter’s pregnancy when he selected Palin last week as his vice presidential running mate, deciding that it did not disqualify the 44-year-old governor in any way.”