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Respect Is a Two-Way Street

A few more thoughts about Sarah Palin and her daughter’s pregnancy. “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby,” Todd and Sarah Palin said in their statement Monday. But of course, in the world according to Palin, Bristol would have had no “decision” to make: The choice of whether to continue with the pregnancy would not be hers to make.


Bristol Palin, 17, holds her brother Trig. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Same with the governor’s decision, after learning that her own baby had Down syndrome, not to have an abortion. That’s a judgment I certainly respect, but it is not one that should be forced on any woman in that difficult circumstance. I had my children at ages 37 and 39, old enough that the risk of Down syndrome was elevated, as it was for Palin, and my doctor recommended amniocentesis. Had the results indicated any abnormality, I have little doubt that I would have made a different decision than did Palin. I have no doubt that such an agonizing choice should have been up to my husband and me, not to the government.

Which is where, of course, Palin would leave it. She opposes abortion in all circumstances, except to save the life of the mother. In other words, no exceptions for rape, for incest, for genetic abnormalities or in circumstances where the woman’s health is seriously endangered. I respect the Palins’ choices. I only wish they would show as much respect for others to exercise their own, free of government imposing it on them.

By Ruth Marcus  | September 2, 2008; 7:36 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Next: Showing George H.W. Bush the Love

Comments

I'd like for the media to ask Gov. Palin questions that relate to issues that Americans care about: peace, prosperity, health care, education, energy independence and the environment.

However, if we must spend more time noodling on Palin's family matters - and she has herself put her family front and center, including telling the world about her son's specific unit in Iraq, the specific dates of their deployment, his military occupational specialty, etc. (all no-no's) - then we should ask about her decision to fly from Texas to Alaska, after he water had broken. And then to avoid the NICU in Anchorage and travel an additional period of time to go to her remote village and have the child. It just doesn't make sense.

Posted by: Deep Blue | September 2, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Woth this choice, John McCain has made a mockery of our form of government, demeaned women, and made all of us more cynical.
John McCain, first, last, and always. Shame on him!

Posted by: Jackie Blue | September 2, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't disagree more-anyone who chooses to bring a retard into this world is putting a burden on government to pay for all the special care the retard will need all it's life.Theres a reason for abortions, even more when you talk about republicans kids.

Posted by: KarlMarx | September 2, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Respect can be a two way street, however I don't think Federal dollars are. Why is the Federal Government giving federal dollars toward people who want an abortion? This is a smack in the face of people who are pro-life and don't want their tax dollars to support this.

Posted by: Matthew | September 2, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to read these comments and not wonder why people talk past each other so often, instead of to each other. But, I digress...

Ms. Marcus raises a valid point, one I'd love to see asked directly -- Why, if Governor Palin's worldview doesn't permit abortion or any alternate to birth, is she proud of her daughter's "choice"? Some serious cognitive dissonance there.

While I'm pro-choice, which led directly from my belief that life begins at sentience and not at conception, I respect the alternate viewpoint. If you believe that life begins at conception, then it follows directly that abortion is wrong and taxpayer money shouldn't pay for abortions. No dissonance there.

But when politicians allow inconsistency based on whatever is expedient for the political moment, that's what we should question them on, rigorously.

Posted by: Gary Goldberg | September 2, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

sarah is a devious,calculating and ruthless politican. she will do and say anything for votes.

Posted by: observer | September 2, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't the Washington Post and every other major news organization do this type of reporting when they knew that John Edwards was cheating on his wife? No- that's a private matter. And when he did his ABC interview the media "respected his wishes" and didn't press the issue further. Might it not be of historical and journalistic interest into how this excuse for a husband may have affected the outcome of the democratic primaries?

Any debate about whether there is a double standard at the Post only has to look at the lack of reporting on John Edwards- a candidate for President- as compared to the blitz of reporting on the 17 year old daughter of a Vice Presidential candidate.

Posted by: ej | September 2, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

To "Karl Max" - who apparently isn't brave enough to put a real name by those disgusting comments - how I love to see you attached to the left wing argument against Governor Palin. Your statement "...anyone who chooses to bring a retard into this world is putting a burden on government to pay for all the special care the retard will need all it's life.Theres a reason for abortions, even more when you talk about republicans kids..." Please keep speaking!!! You alone will win this campaign for McCain.

Posted by: JMW | September 2, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

The attempted cognitive dissonance goes further than that... We're asked to accept that a 17-year old who's ripped from boreal obscurity to become a media cynosure and held up by her own mother as a poster-child for Teachable Moments in Pro-Life Families enjoys any real freedom to make this "decision".

Posted by: Adam | September 2, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

There are so many things swirling around right now that the following appears subtle, but McCain inadvertently showed his hand dramatically:
"We learned this week that John McCain really wanted to choose his very good friend, Joe Lieberman, for VP but caved into pressure from the religious right.
McCain will save his Lieberman pick for the Supreme Court — sorry evangelicals but you’ll have no leverage on Maverick McCain by then. Your Vice President will have no power in the process and a Democratic majority will happily confirm pro-choice Lieberman to the Supreme Court!
Check Mate!"

Posted by: Thoren58 | September 2, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

What kind of mother puts a special needs kid below campaigning? What kind of mother puts a 17 year old daughter through the 24/7 press and media circul just when she needed some privacy and solace of her parents?

Now in the world of tacky, the father to be is to be introduced on national TV tomorrow night... tacky tacky tacky

WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOUR DAUGHTER FOR THE VICE PRESIDENCY?

Posted by: dutchess2 | September 2, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Rumors and facts about Sarah, Todd, and Bristol Palin are flying thick and fast. I expect each night to wake up tomorrow morning and find out that it was all a weird dream, and that McCain really chose Tim Pawlenty. But that hasn't happened yet.

The Palins' family life is their business, as Barack Obama has said. But the intersection of their family situation with public policy about 'abstinence ed' and the availability of abortion is every voter's business. I feel bad for Bristol, who has to start off a premature marriage this way under the spotlight of media across the nation.

Posted by: oldhonky | September 2, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

What happened to all the Federal money that the Bush administration put into abstinence education for teenagers. Was this money simply a payback to the rightwing organizations that mobilized their flocks to elect Bush. Maybe, the Evangelical Christians should practice what they preach. The media would have had a completely different spin to the story if it had been Obama's teenage daughter who was pregnent.

Posted by: taxpayer1 | September 2, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

TO EJ
YOU WROTE: 'Any debate about whether there is a double standard at the Post only has to look at the lack of reporting on John Edwards- a candidate for President- as compared to the blitz of reporting on the 17 year old daughter of a Vice Presidential candidate."

You've missed your own point. Edwards was, at the time of his revelation, a FORMER candidate. Had he been a current one, they would have skewered him to your satisfaction.

You should think first, write second, and don't tell professionals how to do their jobs. especially when you can't even properly frame an arguement.

Posted by: Sam | September 2, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I have not seen liberals attacking Bristol Palin: Sarah launched the issue and is using it to present herself as a defender of her daughter, attacked by phantom liberals. It is Sarah who makes the argument that her child is standing up to some kind of pressure to have an abortion. From whom?

This story does show why conservative women are afraid of abortion rights. Many are at last saying aloud, for the first time, that they have been in Bristol's predicament.
It isn't reactionary for a woman to feel her pregnancy is sacred. Women don't have the economic, personal, or spiritual power to declare sanctity or protection for ourselves when we are pregnant. We would rather lose the right to terminate a pregnancy than lose the right to carry a baby already in our womb. If we really had to chose, I'd have to say the right to bear children is more fundamental. Women who are in a position of economic and social independence may not understand how vulnerable others are.

Sarah Palin's game is something entirely different, though. Here is a link to the story of little Trig's birth, from KTUU, the same TV station where Sarah worked once as a sportscaster:
http://www.ktuu.com/global/story.asp?s=8194634

What kind of ambition is that? She says she was at an oil conference in Texas (with Cheney's inner circle) and they offered her a chance at the vice presidency. She says her water broke, but she gave her speech anyway, and then flew all night, back to Alaska (8 hours) in premature labor with a Down syndrome baby, and then drove to a distant medical center (2 hours).
The baby was born at 6:30 AM. She claims her doctor approved the flight. People didn't believe her, and neither do I: no physician ever did any such thing, of course. So either she lied or she lied, and either way she looks nuts.

If she really delivered the baby, all she has to do is show people her hospital records and introduce them to the doctor. She doesn't have to hide behind her daughter.

Here’s a detailed description of her ambition from somebody who knows:
http://www.crosscut.com/politics-government/17341/

Posted by: Mary Porter | September 2, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Where does Palin stand on universal health care?

Who's paying all the exorbitant health care costs for Ms. Palin's Down Syndrome child, and who's paying for the pre and post natal care that her duaghter will receive for her illegitemate child? Is the health insurance she gets provided through gubernortorial the health plan? Do the rest of her constituents have health care as good as hers? Can one as easily make the "right" choices when one has no money to afford the associated health care costs?

Let's hear the Republican's and, specifically, Ms. Palin, put a happy spin on that discussion.

Posted by: Rocketjs | September 2, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

When a child is born with abnormalities or an incurable disease , the child requires extra medical and social services. There seems to be a disconnect with these Republican pro-lifers who at the same time want to cut all government services.

Posted by: Gerry | September 2, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"Karl Marx" is a republican troll. Anyone can see that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 2, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Well stated, Ruth.

It's ironic that the Republican party generally thinks things shouldn't be regulated. Not guns, not schools, not corporations, not mortgage lenders - regardless of the consequences. But in this one thing - a WOMAN's control over her own body - Republicans turn their backs on liberty and want to put the matter under the strict control of the state.

Posted by: martimr1 | September 2, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Post, please remove the comment by KarlMarx. It is offensive and crude and has no place in this discourse. KarlMarx does not represent the position of either party or of any responsible citizen.

Posted by: Martimr1 | September 2, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a hypocrite.

Posted by: observer | September 2, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The "she's energizing the base, an amazing woman....born leader, and reformer" are all nothing but talking points. We know nothing about her except what the politcal hacks have been feeding us the past few days. I was amazed at how many pundits had all of these facts on her 30 minutes after saying "MCain picked who?" She is doubtful to get any Hillary votes because as you point out in your op-ed that he's agains abortion in ALL CASES. That is really 180 degrees from many Hillary supporters. It gets the Christian conservative base excited....but that's it IMHO. As a fiscal conservative I was hoping for Romney as our country needs some economic guidance after tweedle dee adn tweedle dumb have not stewarded our country well through these past few years and we need to re-gain our economic foothold. As a little nugget....three out of the top six banks in the work are now Chinese....the US is not in the top 6 at all....

Posted by: JR | September 2, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Matthew,

I don't want my tax dollars to support immoral elective wars such as the invasion of Iraq, but I don't get any choice about THAT, do I?

In a republic, we keep our compact with the government by paying our taxes and voting, and we hope the representatives we elect will do the right thing. Sometimes it works out well, other times, as with the Bush administration, not so much.

Posted by: Martimr1 | September 2, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

What was John McCain thinking? Did he know anything about Sarah Palin before he chose her to be his VP?

Is he trying to sink the GOP?

Posted by: John | September 2, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the Palins have no respect for the choices that others might choose to make regarding abortion. I also find their self-congratulations and smug superiority stultifying. They could have just expressed their joy at a grandchild and asked for privacy without the additional advertising.

I also find their pick and choose approach to the right wing agenda a little puzzling. Are not premarital sex and out-of-wedlock pregnancies matters of grave moral urgency along with their anti-abortion views. Why do they so easily dismiss their sins while trumpeting their virtues?

I hope we can have some teachable moments here? And the screeching that the issue is off the table? Forget it. They're flying the baby daddy in for a nice PR trick. They can't have it both ways.

Just one more thought, I so look forward to Palin's views on affirmative action and equal pay for women in view of the fact that she is going for the women's vote.

Posted by: Mary | September 2, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Palin line item vetoes funding for Covenant House. If you believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth, then you should vote for McCain/Palin.

Posted by: MarkR | September 2, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh I feel SO starved for affection and power after having placed second in the beauty contest that I'll abandon my pregnant 17 year-old daughter, my special needs baby, the new job I just got as Chief of the Big Igloo after being promoted from mayor of a small hamlet, so I can reverse a woman's right to choose, deny equal rights to gays, cut more taxes for the rich, enable oil companies to rape public lands, and be second in line to have my finger on the button! HOW PATHETIC!! The rest of the world is laughing in disgust!

Posted by: Xiao Peng | September 2, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS BELIEVE: . . Government governs best that controls your private life.
REPUBLICANS ARE: . . Pass on the debt conservatives.

McCain is the man for the job all right.
1) If you want someone to towkow to the Christian Radicals,
2) If you want to drag you feet in a token effort to get our energy from renewables,
3) If you want to spend a hundred billion a year on foreign wars.
4) If you want a "spend and pass on the debt to your children" Republican,
5) If you believe in "government should be in control of your private life" Republican,
6) If you want to have someone an old heartbeat way from the Presidency, who has so little experience that she makes Obama look like an elder statesman,
7) Who likes to shoot from the hip like George W. Bush does (ie: . Iraq ).
---- then John McCain is you man.

Posted by: Coldcomfort | September 2, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Heres the bottom line: If Palin was a Democrat she would not only be praised for taking on a Vice President role, they would be holding rallys for all the working Moms - wow look at this super mom - I can see the media frenzy now. You can spin a story any way til tuesday. The media is so biased it's not funny. The media love affair with Obama was interupted by Palin so instead of looking at the positive side of her story, they focus on the negative.

Can't you see the media executives scratching their heads:
" hmmm... Let's attack her experience - oh wait our candiate was fixing parking tickets two years ago.
Oh maybe that down syndrome baby is not really her baby - she covered it up for her daughter...yeah let's run with it.
Oh wait... this gets really good: her daughter is pregnant now - what a bad Mom Sarah Palin is. THERE'S OUR ANGLE!!! She shouldn't be working - especially with a mentally challenged baby and a pregnant teenager. Wait..Didn't we praise someone for that last week. Yeah so? The public will believe anything we say even if we are hypocrites - go to press with it! "

John McCain picked the right VP. She stands up for families - lower taxes, less abortions, anti-homosexual (aka counterfeit) marriage and a gunlover. Media take notice: this will make the election much closer than the Obama landslide you keep hoping for. Focus on unbiased reporting...no wonder why newspapers are becoming an endangered species. Anyone with a brain can see your bias. No-BAMA, No-BAMA!

Jay Peroni, CFP
Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire
www.jayperoni.com

Posted by: Jay Peroni | September 2, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

It's finally time for Democrats to confront conservative evangelicals, after three decades of wishing they'd just chill out! From Milbank's column:

"A group associated with Focus on the Family's James Dobson had posted a video asking people to pray for "rain of biblical proportions" to wash out Democrat Barack Obama's open-air speech in Denver last week.

Republicans have a history of such practices. The late Rev. Jerry Falwell blamed 9/11 on "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays." The Rev. John Hagee said Hurricane Katrina was "the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."

And the Rev. Pat Robertson threatened Orlando with "earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor" for displaying gay-pride flags."

The majority must confront this continuing, misguided "will to power" to establish an American theocracy!

Posted by: Li Chi | September 2, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow McCain really miscalculated. Lots of ordinary guys are gonna be really turned off by Palin. He lost my vote that's for sure.

Posted by: Brian | September 2, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus
Your post takes for granted that Gov. Palin had no questions about whether or not to abort her down-syndrome baby.

I am waiting Sarah Palin to be asked the simple question: Why did you cover up your own pregnancy until the 3rd trimester?

What would motivate a conservative, "pro-family", evangelical to hide the very thing that she so celebrates in her political and spiritual life?

Could it be that she seriously considered abortion herself?

Hiding her pregnancy could have been more about preserving her own choice than her privacy.

Posted by: RK | September 2, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I guess I shouldn't be reading too much into these comments - after all I am reading the Washington Post. How can any of you look yourself in the mirror after all the vicious attack on a 4 month old baby and a 17 year old girl. I am a working mother and I do my best to keep my family and my career functioning. Still I get called in to Principal's office because my kid has misbehaved - does that mean I am doing a terrible job as a mother? Should I quit my job and move to rural town and live off my garden and farm?

Posted by: Candace | September 3, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

The one question I would like to ask Gov Palin and those who support only abstinance education is this: Just when are their kids supposed to get the kind of sex education that allows them to prevent pregnancy if they wish? Assuming that many don't want their kids exposed to the "details" at 9th grade or so, just how old are they supposed to be when they do learn this stuff? I mean, somehow, kids have to know about the birds and the bees, or otherwise, just like in the millennia before formal sex ed in schools, "you put a young couple together, and let nature take its course..." which sure sounds like what happened to Levi and Bristol....

We teach sex ed in schools so that kids can understand the consequences of behavior that is instinctive, and one of the strongest drives we have as sentient creatures. Abstinance only is great...in theory, but every study shows it does not delay sexual activity (actually kids with abstinance only education tend to become sexually active nearly a year earlier than kids who have learned all the "facts"), and many parents who want their kids to be exposed only to abstinance only education are also very uncomfortable in teaching their kids the facts beyond "don't". The best way to decrease the number of abortions is to decrease the number of unwanted or unexpected pregnancies. And the way to do that is through sex ed, good contraceptives readily available, and universal health (including pre-natal) care.

Posted by: CalSailor | September 3, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The post from KarlMarx about "retards" followed by the fake indignation from JMW were both posted by the same person. Other conservatives might be dumb enough to fall for it, but no one else is.

Posted by: as_if | September 3, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Matthew,

If I have to watch my tax dollars go into your hate-based, faith-based churches, you can suck it up and deal with helping to fund abortion.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to ask Sarah Palin: what would you do if your daughter, Bristol, wanted to abort her pregnancy?

Posted by: don06 | September 3, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

To Karl Marx,

I think you got your priorities screwed up. The welfare of the child, born or not, should outweigh the burden that child would impose upon the culture at large. A country which respects individual rights does not sacrifice the life or welfare of one of its own for the sake of the others.

Does this mean all abortions are wrong? No. I could see why a mother would abort a the child afflicted with down syndrome just as I could see why a mother would abort a child born with a drug dependency, HIV, or Tay Sachs.

Sparing the afflicted from needless suffering is noble. Sparing us from the inconvenience they may pose to us is not.

Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

John McCain picked the right VP. She stands up for families - lower taxes, less abortions, anti-homosexual (aka counterfeit) marriage and a gunlover. Media take notice: this will make the election much closer than the Obama landslide you keep hoping for. Focus on unbiased reporting...no wonder why newspapers are becoming an endangered species. Anyone with a brain can see your bias. No-BAMA, No-BAMA!

Jay Peroni, CFP
Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire
www.jayperoni.com

She's not for "less abortions," she's for making abortion illegal and throwing women in prison for murder if they have one or are found guilty of having one. Don't sugarcoat it.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I guess I shouldn't be reading too much into these comments - after all I am reading the Washington Post. How can any of you look yourself in the mirror after all the vicious attack on a 4 month old baby and a 17 year old girl. I am a working mother and I do my best to keep my family and my career functioning. Still I get called in to Principal's office because my kid has misbehaved - does that mean I am doing a terrible job as a mother? Should I quit my job and move to rural town and live off my garden and farm?

No, it means you shouldn't run on a platform that says parents whose kids get in trouble are undermining our society.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Liberals always attack what they fear most. Judging by the rabid attacks on Gov Palin over the past days, liberals and the MSM seem to understand how threatening this strong conservative women is to their east coast socialist ivy league paradigms. OBTW, The NYT's blew it again with another poorly sourced attack on the Gov Palin in today's front page. Now they have to retract yet another hit piece. Maybe they need to "vet" their sources better before publishing their next hit piece.

Posted by: PAUL | September 3, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

According to Marcus and others, when Sarah Palin praises her or her daughter's decision to carry a fetus to term, Palin commits to the permissibility of abortion---since if abortion were forbidden, we could no longer speak of one's carrying a child to term as constituting a decision.

I think this point is confused, for two reasons. First, even if abortion were legally and morally impermissible, still a pregnant woman could decide one way or another. So neither sort of permissibility of the alternatives is an essential prerequisite for a decision to arise.

Second, we can surely praise a heroic rescue effort without implying gladness for the catastrophe. Similarly, we can praise someone's decision despite condemning a morally precarious balance of incentives that made it admirable.

"Pro-choice" does not mean "being in favor of decisions whether or not to carry a fetus to term." There is nothing anybody can do to prevent such forks in the road. Rather, I would suppose, "pro-choice" entails commitment to enabling women to make such decisions with due attention to their own wellbeing.

Posted by: Max Weiss | September 3, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

As a moderate Republican - apparently a dying breed - I am dismayed at the choice of Governor Palin. It further confirms the fact that the party has been captured by the evangelical right. Forget any real policy discussion and forget any chance of surviving a primary if you are either pro-choice or not opposed to single sex marriages. Yup, the party has become a slave to issues that affect a small minority of the population.

In any event, it is clear that Governor Palin was chosen to represent "family values" and to shore up the evangelical base. As such, the way in she has raised her family and conducted herself as a working parent are absolutely fair game even if they are distasteful.

It is rather brilliant that this is being spun as a positive. While I understand and even sympathize with the Palins' plight, under no circumstances should the Palins or their teenage daughter be applauded simply because she became pregnant.

The Palins are not role models because of this (indeed, just the opposite) and this does not somehow make her more qualified to become president or vice president. If anything it throws her family "leadership" qualities into question as well as Senator McCain's apparent willingness to make uninformed decisions.

Posted by: ToddDe | September 3, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

As a moderate pro-lifer (I believe that all abortions after the first 3 months should be banned)but a person who came to this position through being an OB doctor and not a religious person, I do believe Palin is a little extreme, but frankly it just goes to the bottom line of how difficult this issue is to be rational on. Palin and her fans have a basic value, that life begins at conception, and that it is sacred.

On the other hand Obama and other extreme democrats share the exact opposite position despite their claims otherwise. Life does not have value until the mother decides it has value and then it has infinite value. This not only flies in the face of science, but also produces strange issues. You can abort a baby anytime, but if you drink while pregnant you should be arrested for endangering your baby.

Unfortunatley and I mean this the Sarah Palins of this world will always have the upper hand in this argument. They are unrealistic and create many unintended problems for society, but they are not morally reprehensible. Obama's actions (Though not his words) are. And until he can resolve this it will probably be a cold day in the fires before any sizable numbers of even the most passable pro-lifers (Like myself) will support him.

I mean if we follow the argument to abort down syndrom children or poor children don't we start valuing them less after they are born as well? Don't laugh. These were common policies of many societies from the Spartans to Nazi Germany.

Posted by: craig | September 3, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

JMW ... Karl Marx wasn't a left wing poster. He was a right wing poser trying to make the left look stupid. Most people see thru this.

Posted by: No Joe | September 3, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Finally a commentary that gets to the real issue:

Sarah Palin wants her personal life to be her own business, but her public stance on abortion is based on the belief that reproductive choices are a public matter that should be decided by the government. So, she is pro-choice and pro-privacy when it comes to her and her family, but anti-choice and anti-privacy when it comes to other people, even victims of rape and incest.

This is what is known as hypocrisy, and accusing a public official of hypocrisy is hardly out of bounds.

Posted by: Alan | September 3, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

The Palin family and the Republicans have rightly demanded that we leave their daughter out of this. Sarah Palin made a choice about her family. Having 5 children, including a disabled one did not stop her from pursuing her career. That is her choice, and some may have made a different choice. All the Palin family did was choose what was best for them. However, Palin does not want to allow you or me to make a choice about what is best for our families. If I am raped, I do not want the government to FORCE me to have that child. Palin wants her choices, but she wants to make mine for me. I call that hypocrisy.

Posted by: sherry bural | September 3, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

Question To Craig:

Since you are an OB MD please tell me this: If a pregnant patient of yours calls, advises you that her "water had broken" and wants to take an 8 hour plane trip, would you recommend that she take that trip? (Let's assume that she has access to first classs medical care in the location she from where she called.) Is she placing herself and the child at risk of injury or death?

This is a question that needs to be asked of Sarah Palin because, by her own words, this is exactly what she did less than five months ago. Is this the type of adult judgement and maturity you want to bring to the Vice President's office?

Posted by: Mark Young | September 3, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

1) If Marcus doesn't want government involved in women's reproductive choices, no taxpayer (so-called "government") money should be appropriated for women's reproductive choices...but Marcus DOES want government to be involved in women's reproductive choices, just on her terms. How does that make her any different from Palin, who (in Marcus's construction, not mine) also wants government involved in women's reproductive choices, but only on HER terms. The difference is, we get to vote on Palin's terms, but not on Marcus's (yes, we get to vote on similar terms that Obama would dictate, but not on Marcus's).

2) Downs Syndrome is a disease affecting living, independent entities. A finger, a nose or a mole cannot have Downs Syndrome unless the entire entity is afflicted with Downs Syndrome. Nothing dead (or not living) can have Downs Syndrome. If it has Downs Syndrome, it is an independent entity, and it is alive. Marcus's assurance that she would abort a Downs Fetus cannot be construed except that she would destroy an independent entity capable of being afflicted with disease or infirmity, and if it is capable of affliction, it is also capable of wellness. Marcus would have fit in well with the Nazis, who also destroyed life less perfect than suited them.

3) Crystal Palin's choice to keep her child does not necessarily include abortion among her alternatives, although Marcus deliberately construes the choice in those terms. To "keep" her child may also mean Miss Palin has chosen not to give the child for adoption, a perfectly viable and consistent choice for those who do not admit abortion among their alternative options.

It is appalling what people are willing to do to discredit Gov. Palin. Have they no reason or shame?

Posted by: Enoch Wisner | September 3, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

One more thing...

Quite a few people on this board equate overturning Roe v. Wade with government compulsion or coercion to have a child. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In the first place, Roe v. Wade was a case about privacy rights, not about abortion. The case may as easily have been about nose-piercing or notching one's own ears. The Court ruled that there is a Constitutional right to privacy, such that government cannot prohibit certain choices a competent person may make regarding their own person. As reasonable as this may seem, many Constitutional scholars - even liberal ones, who wish to see a woman's choice to have an abortion protected - have come to admit that the Court ruled incorrectly, and that the Constitution does not speak to the privacy right established in Roe.

In any case, overturning Roe would not force anyone to do anything. All overturning Roe would do is admit that the Constitution does not speak to a specific construction of privacy right. It is not the case, however, that not having a right guaranteed by the Constitution means that a certain right does not exist, or cannot be claimed on other grounds. If Roe were overturned, there would be no bar to state or federal legislation that expressly defined when life begins for a US citizen, and under what terms a non-living fetus may be aborted. The fact that most of those on the pro-choice side want nothing to do with this approach is an admission that they doubt the voting public would preserve for them what the Court mistakenly gave them.

Personally, I would argue for recognizing the full rights of an American for a fetus upon conception, and hand the question over to medical doctors and the courts in those cases where two lives are in irreconcilable conflict.

Posted by: Enoch Wisner | September 3, 2008 4:58 AM | Report abuse

If the Palins were pro-choice, there would be no baby scandal: Both Bristol Palin's baby and the Down syndrom baby would quietly have been aborted long ago.

I am hesitantly pro-choice myself, but I respect the Palins for their brave decisions to keep their babys rather than seeking the easy way out.

The lynching of Sarah Palin and her daughter is outrageous. PUNISH THE MEDIA AT THE POLLS IN NOVEMBER and vote for McCain/Palin who are for real change, not just empty talk.

Posted by: mehuwss | September 3, 2008 5:00 AM | Report abuse

She's delicious.

Johnny made a huge stride for men's rights.

This is the kind of woman real men want around the office.

Political correctness and the time of feministas are over.

McCain/theBabe 08

Posted by: Al P | September 3, 2008 5:02 AM | Report abuse

She's delicious.

Johnny made a huge stride for men's rights.

This is the kind of woman real men want around the office.

Political correctness and the time of feministas are over.

McCain/theBabe 08

Posted by: Al P | September 3, 2008 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Once again we see the hypocrisy. "Pro-life" means "we don't want our tax dollars funding abortions", but it doesn't extend to "we don't want your tax dollars to help pay for a disabled child". And it certainly does not extend to "we will help after we've forced you to have a child you didn't want to bring into this world". And if you're young and stupid, we certainly don't want to educate you about how to fool around without ending up with a baby we're going to force you to have!

Posted by: Greg | September 3, 2008 5:30 AM | Report abuse

With this choice McCain has elevated the status of women. Just as it took a Republican to free the slaves, it has taken a Republican to finally elevate a woman to be a candidate for high office who is not the product of the elitist establishment. That the left has a harsh double standard for women is reflected in the views that a mom of five is too busy to be a VP. Would they say that of a father of five?

With this choice McCain has exposed the double standard of the left where women are concerned and finally liberated all women.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 5:33 AM | Report abuse

"I only wish they would show as much respect for others to exercise their own, free of government imposing it on them."

But they don't. And that makes them dangerous -- very dangerous. This is probably the most important election since FDR. One of the most important in our history.

Palin may have some energetic and impressive personal qualities and charisma. There is NOTHING impressive about the republikkkan party -- in fact, there's nothing different about the party of rich old white men for the past 28 years.

It really is time for change. This nation will not survive another republican INCOMPETENT lying 'let them eat cake' administration or congress.

Posted by: Hillary supporter AGAINST McCain | September 3, 2008 5:39 AM | Report abuse

So long as abortion is an option available to the wealthy, who can travel for health care, it should be available to all.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | September 3, 2008 5:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm pro life, but believe that everyone should have a choice. God has said that we are to make our own choices, even He will not dictate to us how to run our own lives. He handed down recommendations (the ten commandments) but left it up to us to make our choices based on His advice.
That is how I see a perfect government - with choices offered to us, so that everyone can exercise his or her rights to freedome and free will.
Palin and her ilk are bent on imposing a taliban society on us, where a theocracy will be installed and everyone will lose their basic freedoms.

Oh, and she's also pretty crooked herself when it comes to getting taxpayers money to pay for pork in Alaska, and let's just wait and see what happens in her court case of abuse of power.
This is NOT the kind of person I want anywhere near the national government.

Posted by: Jennifer | September 3, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Aside from personal bias as to who's right and who's wrong, I don't see all that much difference between the position taken by the radical Islamists (say, the Taliban), and that taken by the radical Republicans (say, the Bush administration and the likes of Palin).
Both camps believe that things are black and white. That there is right and wrong, good and evil, my way or the highway.
Both camps see no shades of grey.
Both camps deserve each other, and it's each other they get.
America can do better than this.

Posted by: Greg | September 3, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

As a working mother, I am fearful that the public perception and portrayal of Palin will negatively impact how the average working mother is treated. I've heard attacks already saying that it's impossible to juggle a position like VP with motherhood or that she should quit running for the sake of her daughter. I worry that how this plays out will be a tremendous setback for the working mother. Would these comments be made about a male counterpart? Aren't these allegations suggesting that women cannot effectively lead if they are mothers?

Posted by: Shirl | September 3, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Republicans don't want the government intruding on their lives, they want the government to intrude on YOUR life.

Posted by: Fighting Liberal | September 3, 2008 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Fornication by any other name . . .

Posted by: Gary | September 3, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow Ruth!
You respect the Palin family's choices to nurture and love their God given children.
Aren't you generous!

But let's explore your logic shall we?
You choose not to murder your ill, bed ridden mother.
I respect your choice.
But in your position I might not make the same decision.
Will you grant me the right to murder my ill, bed ridden mother?
Will you show the same respect for my decision as I do for yours?

Posted by: JamesT | September 3, 2008 6:43 AM | Report abuse

I find it strange that the Republicans are shocked that her daughters pregnancy is news.

She had sex out of wedlock and her mother preaches abstinence only education - which we know does not work and she should now know does not work but she hasn't changed her tune less she be seen as a flip flopper.

The other thing about her having 5 children when she is campaigning I notice it's not the father that has the baby it's the oldest pregnant daughter. Maybe they are preparing her. We talk about her being a mother of 5 and people say she has a husband but when I see the children he doesn't seem to be very hand on - granted there have been just a few pictures but...

Posted by: Motherhood | September 3, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Agreed Fighting Liberal. They believe in small government, but only when it comes to taxes, healthcare, education, social security ... all the trivial stuff. Big government's OK when it comes to the important stuff, like gay marriage, condoms, science class and teenage pregnancies.

Posted by: Greg | September 3, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I find your open admission that you would likely have chosen to euthanize a disabled child in the womb disturbing.

We liberals are supposed to be about promoting respect for human rights, not destroying them. I am a pro-life Democrat- and I am pro-life not because I want to control women, but because I want to see the respect for rights and the protections for the vulnerable that we Democrats champion in so many other realms extended to ALL human beings.

As long as we continue to deny what science clearly tells us (namely that a new, unique, living human being exists from the moment of conception) we are really no better than creationists who want to deny what science tells us about evolution. Shame on us for failing to uphold the most fundamental of human rights.

Posted by: DT | September 3, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Let it be known that if you don't share Marcus's views on abortion, you don't "respect" her.

Does that mean that she doesn't "respect" Palin, as Marcus doesn't share Palin's views?

Posted by: rmorrow | September 3, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Matthew-As you say, it is a two-way street. What about us who don't want our tax dollars spent on things like ridiculous (and ineffective as we now see in Bristol) abstinence only programs???

The fact is, tax dollars are spent on things you and I disagree with all the time (Iraq war, for ex). So, you're argument is lacking any substance.

Posted by: Jen | September 3, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I've been angry these past few days at the conservative right that seems to think that Gov Palin's decision to go ahead and have her baby with Down's syndrome makes her incredibly unusual or special, and more pro-life. I'm a pro-choice liberal who would never even consider aborting based on a test saying my unborn child had Downs. In the past I've agreed with Ms. Marcus on a variety of issues, but on this issue, I couldn't disagree more. Having children is a crap-shoot, plain and simple. One has a healthy child one day, the next he/she could be hit by a car and have devastating head injuries. Once a decision is made to be a parent (and that's the choice factor), one should be a parent--step up to the plate--no matter how hard that game might be! I'm ashamed, you've made us liberals out to be selfish human beings.

Posted by: Simmering | September 3, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I'm not selfish. Just believe that life's hard enough as it is without choosing to give birth to a disabled kid. Ever thought about the disabled kid's POV? Who says it's the same as yours?

Posted by: Greg | September 3, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Greg @ 7:54
I was born with serious disabilities which were known in advance.
Have I ever wished I hadn't been given my life?
H E Double Hockey Sticks NO!
But more to your point:
Abortion sort of guarantees we'll never know the unborn's POV now doesn't it?

Posted by: JamesT | September 3, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

This is an issue that can be blogged ad infinitum to no good purpose. Not one single voter's mind will be swayed because of the deeply held beliefs on both sides. What McCain has succeeded in doing is re-activating the Religious Right, a constituency he needs to win the election. What a clever diversion from the issues of the economy, the war, the environment, health care, corporate corruption, education, immigration, our infrastructure---all the questions that he would be challenged by in the upcoming campaign. The military strategy of shifting the battlefield when losing the war is in play here. As far as McCain's touted reputation as a maverick Republican is concerned, he has just punctured that balloon. He is as reactionary as Bush, the only difference being that he does not need a father-figure like Cheney by his side. I smell Rove in the mix, however.

Posted by: moran | September 3, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Abortion is homicide. Pro-choice people do not have any positive solutions to the problems of unexpected or unwanted pregnancy - their only solution is death, "killing the problem" That's a choice, but an immoral one.

Posted by: Mary | September 3, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Ms.Marcus.

My wife and I are firmly pro-choice. During my wife's second pregnancy, we found out that we would have a baby with Down syndrome if the pregnancy went forward, and we CHOSE to continue the pregnancy. We continued the pregnancy because we knew that we could provide a good home for him and help him develop, and because we believe that the choice is whether or not to have a kid at all, not what kind of kid to have. It's always a roll of the dice, whether the kid is "normal" or not.

We don't care about the personal details of the Palins' or the McCains' lives. They won't get our votes because we fundamentally disagree with what they believe and what they want to do with our country.

As for KarlMarx, you're lucky your parents didn't practice what you preach when they found out they were having you.

Posted by: Jeff | September 3, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow, KarlMarx you have floored me. But that's what you wanted, right? You just wrote despicable things for the shock value and you have succeeded. In any event, remember that you are not immune from special needs in the future. Your cousin could get a brain injury in Iraq, your first child could be born with special needs, your mom could be in a car accident leaving her with cognitive impairment. I could go on and on but you get what I'm saying, right? Oh, and you my friend could be diagnosed with dementia any day now. Something to think about while you're out there throwing stones.

Posted by: mary | September 3, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Today I heard the new Barack Obama ad on abortion rights meant to scare women voeters in voting for him - after his campaign has done more woman bashing than any other candidate over the past 30 years.

Women should have strong opinions and be vocal about issues, but they should not let male agendas divide and conquer them so easily.

Civil Rights succeeded as divers groups were able to unite for one cause - equal opportunity. Equal Rights failed because women allowed themselves to be divided by ads like the shameful one put out by Obama today.

I am pro-choice but without equal opportunity women will never really have the same level of choices or respect that men have. I will be voting for issue #1 for all women - equal opportunity.

This Democrat will be voting for Sarah Palin and encouraging all other females to do the same. It is time to unite for one purpose and advance the status of ALL women in this country.

Posted by: Divided Women Fail | September 3, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"I have no doubt that such an agonizing choice should have been up to my husband and me" - I do have doubts that any individual should have the right to kill another human being simply because that human being is temporarily in the category "unborn". To be pro-choice is one thing, but to have "no doubt" reveals a moral shallowness.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Are you serious. You can get an abortion if you want one in America! I'm constantly amazed that pro-choice people shout like they're waiting as though Roe v. Wade hasn't happened yet. As a taxpayer, I'm not going to pay for your second "choice" just because you goofed up on your first choice, which was to have sex instead of ordering pizza or going to the mall...

Posted by: palmettomoon | September 3, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

You can always trust the Republicans to want more Government control over our lives - especially if you are a woman.

Posted by: asoders22 | September 3, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I for one have to respect the choice of a family that is rushing the shotgun marraige of a 17 year old high school dropout Groom,self proclaimed "redneck,who doesnt want kids" and whos vocabulary favors the F bomb,, Bristol you already are diluting the gene pool dont worsen it a year from now when the media covers the divorce. Jerry springer is calling.

Posted by: Mcnertny | September 3, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Dear Enoch Wisner,
Since you , along with Scalia, don't "find" any right to privacy in the constitution, perhaps you should go ahead and actually read some of it, such as the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Do you need to have this explained to you? I don't understand why Republicans can profess to be in favor of small government yet they take every opportunity to increase the power of the state and do, in fact DISPARAGE rights retained by the people, such as the right to basic privacy.

Furthermore, life does not begin at birth or conception, rather it is continuous (as well as profligate). You are all at least 4 billion years old. Just saying.

Posted by: scientist1 | September 3, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

It seems Americans get the government they deserve. America wasn't always great, and won't always be great. Take it for granted, and you lose it. There are sooooooo many issues facing the nation, but hey, abortion rights here-we-come. Go take a look around you, beyond the border, and see that while America fights a "war on terror", a "war on drugs", a "war on abortion", and a "war on reason and rational thought", the rest of the world is moving on. If the small-minded, small-thinking McCain and Palin show get to run the country, you know what you're in for, because you've already had eight years of it. Wanna talk about the economy, the dollar, the deficit, healthcare, education, nuclear proliferation, torture, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Constitution ...? Of course not! Why would we want to talk about that? Abortion and teen sex is where the future is!

Posted by: Greg | September 3, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Mary wrote: "Abortion is homicide. Pro-choice people do not have any positive solutions to the problems of unexpected or unwanted pregnancy - their only solution is death, "killing the problem" That's a choice, but an immoral one."

I wonder - absolutely without aggression, but seriously - from where comes all this bitterness that prohibits people like yourself to think and listen? I am certain you are an intelligent person who wants what is best for other people.

You must know that around 400 million little guys from a male dies at every ejaculation (sorry to have to spell it out). You know that most eggs from a woman do the same during her periods. You also know that a new embryo - that is an egg starting to develop more cells - is not a baby. Only toward the end of third month can you start talking about a fetus that could be called another human being.

Between those two points could an abortion be called homicide. There is no way. And if you use a day-after-pill, you are even more safe, if you worry about it.

You also know that so many million female lives have been shattered by rape pregnancies, incest pregnancies, teen pregnancies because teens don't have a grown-up ability to make decisions for a lifetime. Bright girls who could have accomplished something more have stayed in the shadows, poor and tired and used, because they have lost their freedom.

Those girls need birth control, they need the self esteem to use it, and they need a choice to an early abortion.

If you want to fight for life - fight against warfare. Celebrate women!

Posted by: asoders22 | September 3, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Matthew | September 2, 2008 8:56 PM

Respect can be a two way street, however I don't think Federal dollars are. Why is the Federal Government giving federal dollars toward people who want an abortion? This is a smack in the face of people who are pro-life and don't want their tax dollars to support this.

Who do you think pays for unwanted children that are born to poor people that can't afford to raise them? Deal with their medical needs? Republicans are against any programs to help these children or their parents. What do you think costs more? Or do you think these people should put their children up for adoption, so rich republicans can adopt them?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Ask yourself-
if the same party has controlled all three branches of government for most of the last 7 years, and that party loudly espouses an end to Roe v. Wade, why has it not been overturned? Could it perhaps be because it is more useful to them as an ongoing issue? Or is it because they know the majority of the country is comfortable with the idea of choice and wants to keep it? Ask yourself.

Posted by: kguy1 | September 3, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans have contributed nothing to the election substance other than a right wing woman. She may be great or not but one thing she is, is a distraction to the horrid record Republicans have given the US since 1994 when they took control of Congress and proceeded to spend the next 5 years pursecuting everything Clinton before initiating the prosecution for lying about the "blow job", before destroying American standing throughout the world via "W" before forcing us into a war based on more lies before failing to finish the job against the real terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center. In the mean time our economy is in the toilet and the only thing they have to talk about is a young girls baby and a privledged womans decission to keep a Downs Baby while she is govoner of a lightly populated, most remote state attached to our continent.
How can half of the population of our country be so blind?

Posted by: wgraup | September 3, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm half with you, Ruth, just not sure which way. While abortion is indefensible morally and ethically, the selfish and/or pragmatic outcomes are what is best for our society. Think of the millions of low IQ kids we don't have to feed, clothe, medicate, and incarcerate, thanks to abortion. As I look at the news each day - be it LA schools, NYC slums, Detroit politicians, busloads evacuating New Orleans -- I just wish that millions more had elected the abortion option over the last 10-40 years.

Last but not least, let's give the purported fathers-to-be an equal say. They should have the same "rights" to get rid of the fetus rather than be saddled with government imposed support obligations. How about it, Ruth; let's see you pick up this baton.

Posted by: Pedro | September 3, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Jay Peroni===your credentials say it all---Author of the Faith Based Millionaire. The hypocrisy of Sarah Palin with her Down Syndrome baby being supported medically by the government railing about abortions being supported at government expense. You are a millionaire. A lot of people put in this situation have no medical insurance whatsoever and no resources to handle this huge problem. Meanwhile the Republicans want to cut the public programs that would help these people. And the Republicans are against funding for contraception and sex education that would prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Yet you keep pouring money into these "Abstinence Only" programs that are administered by the Religious Right . This particular instance of Sarah Palin's daughter show just how unsuccessful the "Abstinence Only" programs don't work, especially if the rumor that the girl was also pregnant at the age of 14 are also true.

Posted by: THIS JUST IN | September 3, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Ruth! I was begging for someone to finally say it!

All this talk about Sarah's courageous "choice" to keep the down syndrome baby and Bristol's "decision" to keep hers was driving me crazy. Central to the Republican plank is the denial of that very right to all Americans!

What Palin should have said, so as not to be accused of hypocrisy, is that "I was forced by my convictions to keep the down baby, and I likewise forced my daughter to keep hers. There was no choice or courage in the matter; only blind submission to principle."

THAT's what the Republicans stand for!

Posted by: buddydog | September 3, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@Gary Goldberg

I agree as far as you go, but you should go farther. If abortion is murder, then why should the law not punish both the abortionist and the woman involved? Under Federal law, that could mean the death penalty. I'd like to hear how many "pro-life" advocates are willing to be consistent in their moral outrage.

Posted by: jprfrog | September 3, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

If I wanted to live in a country where my daughters would be forced to have a baby spawned by a rapist, I would move to Saudi Arabia or Iran. Vote for Sarah Palin if you want a theocracy.

Posted by: trace1 | September 3, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus, you are a gutsy woman and I totally agree with your comments. This is the essence: women have a right to make their own medical decisions and the government has an obligation to respect their choices. Politicians who want to take away even more rights under the Constitution by appointing openly biased, "pro-life" justices, explicitly seeking to impose their religious views on others, should not be elected to any office, much less the White House.

I see no difference between the pro-choice position you so clearly describe, in which a woman can choose early on to carry a fetus to birth, or can choose an abortion, based on her own values and family situation, and the Terry Schiavo case, in which the legally designated family member had the right to choose whether or not to withdraw life support from a brain dead woman after years of failed treatment. The disgraceful Republican congressional hysteria over the Schiavo case is worth remembering and must never be repeated. Thank goodness my own Senator, John Warner, stood up against it.

The zone of family decision making should not and does not include the federal (or state or local) government. Stay out of our family business, big government, and away from our bodies. You have plenty of issues to deal with just maintaining a national defense, planning for hurricanes, and keeping the potholes filled.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | September 3, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The positions in the abortion debate have always included a choice based on state law,
New York allowed Abortions in the 60's.

The issue with Roe vs Wade is that 9 judges made this decision not the American People!!
For almost 40 years the democrats have driven this choice argument hiding behind judges, and not producing law!!! If the left truly had principle on their side - even the right - a law could be voted on in Congress to return this issue to the states where people can decide law!!!

Let's vote on it based on the Constitution!!

Posted by: Jeff Crocket | September 3, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the basis for abortion was the right of privacy... a woman should not have to host an unwanted pregnancy. The decision is not given to men because they don't have the plumbing to base the case on.

It doesn't matter to me whether we use tax payer money for counselling, abortion, parenting, or supporting retarded and under developed children born too soon to people who don't want to be, or are too young to be parents.

Finally, someone needs to speak to the McCain campaign... it is beyond tacky to expose the 17 year old to so much publicity, and unthinkable that the poppa to be would be hauled out before the lights as if he had done anything worthy of praise.

Posted by: dutchess2 | September 3, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Where is the justice when it comes to having sex with minor (in this case is Sarah Palin's daughter)? Does justice have double standard?

Posted by: Minor | September 3, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"Women should not have to host an unwanted pregnancy"? As a pro-life woman, I believe this is utter nonsense. It's not called "hosting" is called being responsible for your children. Parents are responsible for the children they conceive through their own acts. Anything else is wrong. Pro-choice people may not like it that way, because they don't want to accept reality.

Posted by: rose | September 3, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

It will one day be the liberal position that an infant can be killed for a variety of "medically approved" reasons if the killing is done with the consent of the mother. About the same time allowing the killing of the old and infirm will become the "law of the land." All the while the "compassionate" left will vociferously oppose the death penalty for convicted murderers. And the hunting of caribou.

Posted by: mhr | September 3, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

By law 17 year olds do no thave the right to decide anything in Alaska. They are minors and should be treated as such.

The author seems to favor choice being available to girls of any age - no matter how young.

We don't let minors go to the movies without our permission - nor should we let them make decsions about abortions ether.

Posted by: gooch | September 3, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If the media wants to rip palin apart like savages thats only going to help mccain,,so here is what i say::who cares about palin, what about whats really impotant::

I am amazed so many Americans seem to believe this Obama guy, A short list of his advisors:
William Ayers – I hate America
Ludicrous – I hate America
P Diddy- I hate America
Black Panthers – I hate America
Louis Farrakhan – I hate America
Rev Wright – I hate America
Mummer Kaddafi – I hate America
Tony Rezko – I love America
Michell Obama – I hate America
4 years of civil rights muck – UGG
Nancy Pelosi – Save the planet at any cost.
Harry Reid- Worm
Surly this isn’t what we want, is it?
I don’t care who you vote for America, just not obama please

Posted by: MSG | September 3, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'd hate to be Marcus's baby. I wanted you, but only if you were perfect.

Typical liberal crap. How do you know that Britol didn't have a choice? Maybe she just didn't want the choice you would have made.

And to say that the baby with downs is actually Bristol's is not only stupid, it is ridicules.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Poor Bristol. Sarah Palin gets to "have it all," because she has passed off her 4-month-old special needs son onto her 17-year-old 5-months-pregnant daughter. Bristol gets to be daughter, sister, nanny, and mommy -- all at the same time! Palin gets to tsk-tsk us about our supposed sexism, while she touts "family values."

For the sake of Bristol and Trig Palin, get this hypocrite Bible thumper off the ticket ... or, better yet, vote for the mature, careful, "presidential" ticket!

Posted by: TerryOakland | September 3, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed so many Americans seem to believe this Obama guy, A short list of his advisors:
William Ayers – I hate America
Ludicrous – I hate America
P Diddy- I hate America
Black Panthers – I hate America
Louis Farrakhan – I hate America
Rev Wright – I hate America
Mummer Kaddafi – I hate America
Tony Rezko – I love America
Michell Obama – I hate America
4 years of civil rights muck – UGG
Nancy Pelosi – Save the planet at any cost.
Harry Reid- Worm
Surly this isn’t what we want, is it?
I don’t care who you vote for America, just not obama please

Posted by: MSG | September 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@MHR and other 'Pro-Life' advocates - You (MHR) are making the false assumption that first/second trimester fetuses are 'infants'. They are not, so quit trying to elicit emotion based on your ignorance.

Roe v. Wade only protects a WOMAN'S right to choose abortion in the first/second trimesters because the science proves that the earliest a child can even survive, not counting the likelihood of severe health issues, is at 24 weeks.

Fetuses begin to develop a minimal brain stem at 7 weeks, but are not capable of consciousness until the third trimester and most likely remain unconscious until birth.

I know your religious nuts hate science, but since you're using the COMPUTER to access the INTERNET, you seem to be able to overlook it. Let's face it, this is the religious people trying to force EVERYONE to live as they do.

And while I would disagree to abortion on a personal level, I would not, unlike those of PRO-LIFE, dare presume that I could make the decision for every person in the United States of America. I have my own life to live. Perhaps you should too and focus on REAL ISSUES.

Posted by: ajm | September 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Roe v. Wade is slightly more complicated than the shrift it is getting here. Roe v. Wade concerned a state's rights to regulate abortion versus the mother's right to privacy. The Court took a more or less sliding scale approach.

The opinion basically holds that during the first trimester the state cannot restrict a woman's right to have an abortion. The state can regulate abortions during the second trimester for reasons related to maternal health. The state can prohibit abortions during the third trimester so long as the pregnancy does not threaten the life of the mother.

When it regards the interests of personal rights the Supreme Court is often called upon to balance state regulation vs. personal rights. Indeed, one of the primary reasons for the Bill of Rights was to protect certain fundamental rights held by the individual from the potential tyranny of the masses.

Thus, the reason the abortion issue is not completely left up to a vote is that it involves a personal right. The rationale whether you agree with it or not is that during the first trimester, the mother's rights outweigh the interests of the state (or the public). During the second trimester as the fetus nears viability, the state's interest to regulate the procedure grows and during the third trimester the state's interest more or less outweighs that of the individuals.

Roe v. Wade does not hold that states or the federal gov't must affirmatively pay for abortions.

Posted by: ToddDe | September 3, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

If Palin is indeed pro-life and anti-abortion has she claims, why then did she had an amniocentesis in the first place knowing that such a procedure has some risk of miscarriage? and is the reason she had an amnio was because there is some birth defects for which she was willing to terminate her pregnancy?
She did make a "choice" and I respect it, but I am tired of hearing from the republican side that she is an example of pro-life anti-abortion mom because she made the CHOICE of having Trig. If she was pro-life anti-abortion she didn't have to make a choice at all!
Let's stop the hypocrisy!

Posted by: BZK | September 3, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Women since the dawn of the species have made the difficult choice to maintain a pregnancy or not. Certain tribes in certain tropical regions have expert knowledge of how to induce abortions with plants. If Palin were to have her way and abortion was criminalized, women would still choose. Dark rooms, coat hangers, trips to Mexico - you can't take away the choice - only make it less safe.

Posted by: DSK | September 3, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@MSG - Not one of those people is Obama and Michelle Obama NEVER said she hates America, so you have already lied making your entire post laughable. Even if you mean well (in a sad, sick way), those who support him are not blinded by your ignorant 'flag-waiving' and know that he does not hate America.

P.S. I would like for you to post one source (full-context) where one of these people actually said "I hate America". I'll wait.

Posted by: ajm | September 3, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh Sarah, Oh Sarah, You shudda said, “No”

Oh Sarah, Oh Sarah
Where did you roam?
She took off with Johnny
But, she's soon comin' home

He took her down there
It's all sun and no snow
Her life's all shinin'
With lovers' new glow

Oh Sarah, Oh Sarah
It's scary down there
There's tabloids and Oprah
They'll mention your hair

Pollsters and pundits
Are goin' to scream
Though they can't catch a salmon
And ain't “Mushed!” a team

Oh Sarah, Oh Sarah
It's like a quiz show.
They'll laugh and they'll point
Every time you don't know.

They'll laugh at your voice
And they'll laugh at your clothes
They'll laugh at the glasses
At the end of your nose

Oh Sarah, Oh Sarah
You shudda said, “No”
When John started huggin'
And kissin' you so

John only needs you
For one body part
And I'm tellin you, Sarah
It isn't your heart

Oh Sarah, Come home
We're all missin' you so
Don't wait till November
You'll miss half the snow

Posted by: Petronius_Jones | September 3, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

If you advocate a woman's control over her OWN body, than you should be advocating for decriminalizing suicide.

Abortion murders a DIFFERENT body, a different life. From the moment of conception, egg + sperm = NEW DNA. ie. NOT THE MOTHER'S BODY.

This is basic biology, long ago proven by science.

No matter how many cells, a zygote/embryo/fetus is a HUMAN life separate from the mother.

Posted by: anon | September 3, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I am woman hear me ROAR! I can field dress a moose, fight big pork barrel spenders when I choose, and raise a family of five single handedly while VP of the powerfull US! Of course she can, she is a woman! I am proud of Sarah Palin as a woman, I find it difficult to agree with her. We as Americans are about to be confronted with many issues that matter to us and we need to think hard and long about how much other peoples morals really matter to us. Abortion is a very personal matter to a woman and should be left in a woman's hands, God forbid if men bore children, abortion would be prolific for many years! As a poster stated above Roe v Wade is actually about the right to privacy over body. The only thing we own in life is our body. I don't want someone elses morals or guilty conscience on my body. My decisions are between me and God and no one else. It's my body, I was born with it and I will die with every cut, bruise, sin, and pain I have given it. Abortion is old as time, it's not new. It's funny how most Republicans want less government except when it comes to moral issues. Here they want to control society, I say stay & pray in your own house. I don't need prayer in school, or pledges to know where my allegances lay and neither will my children. Sarah Palin's pregnant 17 y/o daughter is a symbol to me of choices we should all be given. So please keep your faith, love, hands, morals off my body. I am woman, smart, beautiful, loving, decisive, tough, proud and fit to make my own choices in life and stand before our great "Creator" and tell him my story and I don't think he's gonna be moaning about my little struggles in life as there are bigger fish to fry. We've got bigger issues comin down the road I could compare to a great big old abortion of America and life as we know it if we keep on the same path of "my brother's keeper of morals". This is such a small issue, people die everywhere, everyday. And FYI the world is already populated to just about capacity and has continued to grow every darn year. JMO

Posted by: Just a Woman | September 3, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"" hmmm... Let's attack her experience - oh wait our candiate was fixing parking tickets two years ago."

Excuse me, Jay Peroni, CFP, but Obama was a U.S. Senator two years ago, just like McCain. Is that what you think a Senator does?

You only weaken your own argument when you become so transparent.

Posted by: Huh? | September 3, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

You all talk so heavily on the abortion issue as if having McCain/Palin is going to overturn Roe v Wade. Be real citizens of America - that will take an ACT of all Congress, Senate, Presidency and the Supreme Court to overturn. It's just not going to happen so drop the subject and focus on what's real. Energy, Economics, Education - that's what we need now - not women losing their choices. Why don't we go back 88 years and talk about taking the voting rights away from women!!!

Posted by: Candace | September 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

9:09 PM - I think you meant "Sapience" instead of "Sentience" to describe your stance on abortion. Sapience is conciousness; Sentience is a quality or feeling distinguished from thought.

Posted by: Pym | September 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

This is why you have to be careful with these opinion blogs. What do we care that you would've had an abortion if your children weren't up to snuff?

How is this relevant to Sarah Palin really? Perhaps to point out the courage of her conviction. I am not even a big McCain or Palin fan but I worry about people who think they can pick and choose which children they actually let live running our country.

Posted by: Counterpoint | September 3, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Matthew and other pro-lifers ask why should his taxes be used for abortion. Well they are my tax dollars too. I would ask all you pro-lifers out there, considering that it is far more expensive to bring up a child than to have an abortion, how about a "pro-life" tax, a tax that would be used to provide health care and housing and education to those poor children born to mothers who chose not to have an abortion. So what do you say, Matthew, higher taxes to the pro-life movement to pay for all those unwanted children.

Posted by: MarkinNY | September 3, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

For many years I struggled with this entire debate which seemed to be one of a personal right vs the imposition of a theological concept of when life begins and all the ramifications on its interference. My conclusion? (Many will probably hate me for this..) ...that each of us is the keeper of our genetic identity. That is each of us is the end of the line of all who came before us. We are the sum total of the constant mixing and matching of traits that have brought to where and who we are today. And as a result each of us as the supreme right to decide WHO (i.e. the child) you pass your genetic identity onto. And with WHOM.

Posted by: Peter | September 3, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

To Matthew: Your argument against using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion begs a question: What about using MY taxpayer dollars to fund the war in Iraq? Existing people -- you know, viable -- are dying for NO GOOD REASON, and I get to help pay for it.

Posted by: Heather | September 3, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

To:KarlMarx

The "retard" is a human being, which the same rights and dignity that we all deserve. Down's syndrome patients are wonderful and happy people that touch the lives of those around them. In any case you are not showing better judgement that the "retards" you so much want to kill. I encourage you to get to know some people with special needs, you won't regret it.

Posted by: Luis | September 3, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

On your page yesterday you posted a picture of two minors with your article "The Lesson of Bristol Palin". What kind of person are you? Today yoiu come back with this tripe. I have no problem believing you are capable of murdering the innocents to push your agenda.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I know someone who was born with a genetic disease that caused him to need a kidney transplant, among other things. He asked his parents "Why did you even have children knowing this?".
Not everyone is glad to be here.
The Palins seem to be fairly well off and able to deal with these situations. That isn't always the case.
It would be difficult enough for me to make this sort of decision for myself. I would not want to tell someone else what to do.

Posted by: please | September 3, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Matthew wrote: "Respect can be a two way street, however I don't think Federal dollars are. Why is the Federal Government giving federal dollars toward people who want an abortion? This is a smack in the face of people who are pro-life and don't want their tax dollars to support this."
What about the rest of us that don't want to pay for a republican war in Iraq?

Posted by: jarl66 | September 3, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Today I heard the new Barack Obama ad on abortion rights meant to scare women voeters in voting for him - after his campaign has done more woman bashing than any other candidate over the past 30 years."

In what way did Obama "bash" women?

Posted by: Huh? | September 3, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'd like for the media to ask Gov. Palin questions that relate to issues that Americans care about: peace, prosperity, health care, education, energy independence
__________________________________________
energy independence? Yes, we know how the Democrats feel, They will continue to block All new practical forms of domestic energy...NO new refineries, NO drilling on the East Coast, West Coast, ANWR, the Gulf, NO clean burning coal and NO nuclear energy which could provide a plethora of jobs but instead has made us vulnerable, and continues to drive up the cost of everything and can be laid at the feet of the Democrats the home of the, not environmentalists but the wacko environmentalists.
Anything Palin will say will be better than that.

Posted by: Mike | September 3, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I've seen it reported that Sarah Palin felt her family could keep the unwed teen pregnancy a secret from the nation - which, if true, shows this candidate to be frighteningly out of touch with the reality of the American presidential electoral process.

The Palins talk about the pride they feel in their daughter for "choosing" to have this baby. In what conservative Christian household is this a choice?

The Palins did have a choice to make as a family - to plunge headfirst into the bright glare of the national media spotlight - or to say no to John McCain. Sarah Palin chose to drag her family into the intense scrutiny of a national presidential campaign.

As a parent, I find that decision to be appalling. And this has nothing to do with Sarah Palin's gender or party affiliation. It would be equally appalling if Joe Biden decided to accept Obama's nod with a daughter in Bristol's difficult situation.

A parent's responsibility should always be family first. In thrusting Bristol – at a moment when she is grappling with the challenges of unexpected pregnancy – into the relentless glare of a national campaign, the Palins have made an enormous mistake.

I feel sorry for Bristol and wish her all the best in the years to come. I hope she looks to Barack Obama for inspiration - for he is proof that the child of a teen-aged mother can truly accomplish much when surrounded by love and support of family. I only hope that Bristol's family can find the time to support their daughter in the months and years to come.

Posted by: AnneCW | September 3, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If the knock on Barack is that this is all about him, then how can Palin reconcile putting the campaign above the needs of her special needs child...

Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It's good to know that I'm not the only one thoroughly disgusted by using a special needs infant as a political football. If she hadn't trotted out that tiny child as self righteous proof of her exaltedness above all mothers, no one in the media could justify their inquiries into her daughters pregnancy. She should have kept all of her children off limits in the first place.

Posted by: DC Fem | September 3, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I love this. Thank you. Choice is exactly that -- the ability to make a difficult personal decision without having to factor in governmental mandates. You'd think the no big government camp would get it.

Posted by: Jean | September 3, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is "proud" of her daughter's "decision" because it is an article of faith with authoritarian family-values folks that people don't, in general, make the ethically or morally correct decision unless they are compelled to by fear of punishment.

Being proud of someone who decides to do complete a pregnancy even if she doesn't have to, is not, strictly speaking, inconsistent with a political view that abortion should be banned. They believe that if it were banned, then everybody -- including the people they see as having no morals -- would be forced to make the same choice that they have made for the most high-minded of reasons.

It doesn't exactly work that way, of course; which is why someone like me, and many others, who are MORALLY opposed to abortion, can still be politically pro-choice. Because I'm aware that some women will choose to have an abortion no matter how difficult the government tried to make it, and that is a horror scenario I don't want to bring back.

Posted by: herzliebster | September 3, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting to note how the word "choice" is so easy to substitute for killing an unborn child, up until it is partially out of the womb. It is very sad when a girl becomes pregnant from rape or incest, but a human being is still conceived. At what point does an unborn child have human rights, no matter how and why he/she is conceived? I know liberals and progressives "it is out of your pay grade" to know. Like Germany with the Nazis, you are either opposing their killing, assisting in the killing of innocent human beings, or looking the other way while it happens. Being "prochoice" is just looking the other way as some did during the Nazis reign of terror. Good for Palin for standing with her daughter after she made a mistake, that is happening all too often in our secular humanistic relativist Democratic inspired society.

Posted by: rljmsilver | September 3, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

With regards to "family values," the only thing Republicans reliably stand for is: Have babies.

Down's Syndrome? Teenage mom? No problem! Just make sure you have them. ...With regards to how you're going to *raise* them, well...whatever.

Seriously, why don't the Republicans care that she's going to be taking such a high-profile position at a time when both her oldest and youngest (disabled) child need her most?

If you really wanted to a high-profile position, then don't have so many children, or wait until you have raised them properly first (ala Stanford-attending Chelsea...remember her?).

True pro family people would put their family above their careers.

Also, enough with this patting-her-on-the-back-for-doing-something-she-thinks-should-be-illegal anyway. If she wants to make it illegal, then OF COURSE she wouldn't consider doing it!

By applauding her, what the Republicans are clearly saying is, "Not only does she claim to be Pro-Life, but apparently she's not lying about it! Hooray!"

The Republicans claim that she "lives by her ideals." Oh, shut up already. A person lives by their ideals when they practice a virtue every day that they try to encourage in others, like honesty, courage, whatever.

A person who would incarcerate others for an act, and who doesn't commit that act themselves, isn't "living by their ideals", they are just practicing common f-----g sense.

Would you pat yourself on the back for not driving drunk, not doing cocaine, not embezzling from your company (or any other activity that presumably you think should be an incarcerating offense)? Gimme a break.

Posted by: Mr. Brett | September 3, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Rose--If you believe that the rationale behind being anti-choice is that people should be responsible for the consequences of their freely chosen acts, what is your position on the Republican platform, which would prohibit abortion in the case of rape or incest? Surely you'd make an exception for those cases, wouldn't you? Or do you think abortions should be forbidden in those circumstances as well?

Posted by: dpeters | September 3, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

For the good of the country maybe Palin should take a page out of the Kennedy parenting hand book and have Bristol lobotomized.

BTW - who are all these people, especially in the press, who are "surprised" by this pick? Since late May I've been hearing Romney and Pawlenty as the safe canidates and Palin and Jindel as the dark horse candidates.

Posted by: Russ | September 3, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Actually... I'd like to report an offensive comment... and that it comes from Ruth Meyers. When is abortion actually considered murder? In Ruth's case, it is apparent she would have committed murder on her unborn if something might have been amiss. When do the unborn have a say??

Posted by: Al Gore | September 3, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The subject of legalizing abortion or denying that choice to women is a tough debate.

However, my response is not related to the abortion issue but I am curious as to what Ms Palin's views are on adoption. I am also speaking on the issue of choice.

To me in looking at Bristol's age there was another choice Bristol could have made, one that could have fulfilled the needs of an individual who cannot conceive and carry a baby to birth but is ready and aching to have a child.

I think the real issue is about Ms Palin's choices; apparently approving of her daughter to marry at a young age and step into a marriage with a baby on the way. That puts pressure on the start of any marriage no matter what one's age.

Then Ms Palin's choice to step into a position that will challenge her ability to always put her family first and her nation first at the same time. My question is can she always do both?

I have had been required to work most of my married life and have had no choice for many years because my husband is disabled and is unable to work. During this time I also raised a bipolar child as well. I know how hard it is to work and raise a special needs child.

My job is that of an auditor with flexible hours that end at 40 hours a week with weekends off. Ms Palin doesn't have that choice as Vice President and especially does not have that choice as a possible President.

My comments are about choice and we as voters have a choice to make as to who to choose as our next Presidential duo and I for one am making the choice as a Republican, to vote for Mr Obama. There is a first time for everything!

I don't think that Ms Palin is making the best choice for her family, the Republican Party, or this Nation.

Posted by: Linda | September 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It's none of my business, but I'm curious how the proposal went...did Levi get down on bended knee?
Really, how much "choice" did this kid have?

Posted by: AS | September 3, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Can some Social Conservative please explain to us liberals why, if they espouse family values, that it is seemingly of no concern that Palin is seeking a high-profile position immediately after delivering a special-needs newborn and a having pregnant teenage daughter?

Don't *both* of the facts suggest that she's obviously putting her own family second to her career?

...Or is the rationale that it's okay to forsake your own children, provided it's to lecture (and legislate) how other parents treat theirs?

C'mon, there are plenty of social conservatives on this board. How do you interpret this situation as consistent with family values?

Posted by: Mr. Brett | September 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@AS - Probably not much, if any. This self-described "redneck" who "doesn't want to have children" most likely doesn't want to be married either. Sometimes, NOT getting married is the right thing to do. I am quite certain that the 'values' position is to force the marriage and subsequent dysfunction.

The relationship of these two will be strained by the public spotlight, the Paris/Brittany celebrity type, and they most likely won't make it to 25 before a nasty, publicly embarassing, divorce.

Posted by: ajm | September 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I was 38 when my daughter was born with Down syndrome. I had a prenatal test and chose to have my daughter. My husband had cancer at the time. I recently relocated to a new city, but I was the leader of a Down syndrome affiliate group in our former hometown. I worked a lot with the media, in community/professional education and in speaking with moms who had a tentative or confirmed prenatal test. I always tried to give them up-to-date, unbiased information. Yes, I told them of my own decision and that their decision had to be theirs. I told them the positives of Down syndrome and the challenges. I offered to send them information and offered to allow them to meet a family if they so desired. I also offered to be a resource regardless of their decision. My concern is that the media and medical fields present negative information instead of the positive making it impossible for a women in this situation to make an informed decision. We have story after story from parents saying the doctor told me to terminate. The doctor told me my baby would be a burden. Then, look at how the media portrays people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. We would just like individuals with Down syndrome to have the same respect that other groups/individuals in our country have.

Posted by: jmast | September 3, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

So the latte-liberals that gave Barack Hussein Obama his caucus victories are now reduced to sneering and smirking about a working class all-American family which just might have a lot more appeal to mid-Western working class voters than any other choice John McCain could have made.
Perhaps upset because their bungled VP choice has
forced them to package a 35-year Senate veteran as an agent of "change you can believe in".
Reduced to taking it out on 17 year old Bristol Palin for her pregnancy.

Not much doubt what would have happened to
that baby with Obama's "right to choose". Well, Bristol Palin's baby was saved by her courage and
her principles. In the coming months, thousands of American babies will be saved by her example!

Posted by: Georges Makhtouf | September 3, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Georges Makhtouf:

I think you must have meant "white trash"

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't Mr. Gerson come up with a new article to apply his Evangelical Republican spin to?? I'm waiting!!

I want to ridicule not Mr. Gerson PER SE, but the hypocritical gun-toting, meth using "religious right", you know, the people of this earth that are closest to God and believe in "His judgment" for people who have not followed his word.

The same ones who believe in separatism for the State of Alaska, you know what I mean! The same people who invoke the name of God, over and over, in public speeches and elsewhere, just as Adolph Hitler did in Germany before he began exterminating human beings.

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

She's a fake selling snake oil with John McCain. Just wait and see if they manage to get elected!

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

She's a fake selling snake oil with John McCain. Just wait and see if they manage to get elected!


We can only HOPE!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Social Conservatives, I'm *begging* you. Please. Tell us how Palin's behavior is consistent with being Pro-Family, and not just Pro-Having-Children.

The fact is, that anyone who would take on a high-stress job while having kids is NOT putting their family first.

JMast, nobody here is castigating Down's Syndrome children at all, or saying that they can't be happy, healthy, successful adults. What people are simply commenting on is that *any* newborn is going to require a LOT of caring, from both parents, but let's face it, especially from the mother. ...And a child with Down's Syndrome will likely require more, not less, family support. Is that a fair statement?

And, if so, doesn't it follow that any parent who would take such a high profile, away-from-home-a-lot type of job within MONTHS of having such a child is putting the child second to her career?

I mean, isn't that logical? ...And if so, why is it that the so-called Family Values crowd is so quick to totally look the other way on this?

Or look at it another way: If it were a high profile, liberal corporate-type who did this...had the child, then took a prestigious job, is there any DOUBT that the Family Values type would blast them for not embracing proper, well, family values? ...Or does she get a free pass because maybe in some way she'll help make abortion illegal, so it's all ok?

Posted by: Mr. Brett | September 3, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

sanity:

3 posts in a few minutes? John McCain and Sarah Palin must have hit a raw nerve!

The people you call "white trash" work for a living, serve in the military and volunteer in their communities.
The people you would call "agents of change", like Joe Biden and Barack Obama, live off political machines, pork-barrel and earmarks.
Barack Obama put in an earmark targeted at the Chicago hospital where his wife worked; she got a 35% raise the next year. Search for Joe Biden's anti-consumer bankruptcy legislation and MBNA, where his son Hunter works as a 26 year-old "senior vice-president".

And you need to improve your knowledge of history: Hitler was a devotee of Friederich Nietzche and believed Christianity had sapped the Germanic warrior spirit. He certainly did not go around making speeches about God before being elected.
Makes you wonder how accurate the liberal press is about everything else they peddle.

Posted by: Georges Makhtouf | September 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This is a classic example of the ages old situation described as "being caught between a rock and a hard place". There is simply no way to explain away the reckless and irresponsible decision by McSame to have Mrs. Palin as his running mate. On the one hand, if McSame thoroughly investigated Mrs. Palin's background, then how can one explain the decision to place a 17-yr old pregnant teenager in the glare of a Presidential campaign. On the other hand, if McSame did not thoroughly investigate Palin before choosing her as his running mate, then how can that snap judgment be characterized as wise and prudent. No, the G.O.P. spin machine will never dig McSame out of this one. He's screwed either way he turns for no matter what he did, he proved himself to be a very poor and dangerous candidate for President of the United States. Obama/Biden 08!!!

Posted by: caliguy55 | September 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

In defense of Sarah Palin, the leaders of
the Christian right have made it clear about how they define a Christian.

We don't care if you sin.
We are not bothered if you put your ambition ahead of the needs of your children. If you have lied or broken the law, we will look the other way. It all comes down to your stand on guns and fetuses. Vote the right way, and you have our blessing.

They are not concerned about actual issues, other than their issue, the establishment of a Christian Theocracy in the United States.

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Aborting kids with Down's syndrome is OK, because they're going to have such a hard time in life.

Also, aborting black kids is fine, because it's hard to be an African American, even in contemporary America.

And anyone who isn't capable of making it into an Ivy League college (like I did) will have a tougher time in the workplace, so get violently dismember all of them in utero too.

Basically, I think other people should abort any kid who doesn't represent MY ideals.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Posted by: John | September 3, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, why don't the Republicans care that she's going to be taking such a high-profile position at a time when both her oldest and youngest (disabled) child need her most?"

I guess all working mothers should just quit their jobs and stay home, huh?

Posted by: sexism is alive and well | September 3, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

John

If that was the case my cousin with downs would have been aborted, my black brother and me because I didn't get into an ivy league school.

Damn, how would the world function if only elitist snobs were left to run it?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

its funny how everyone is acting like this and the other WP articles are legitimate journalistic sources. this paper is just DNC propaganda. they're not articles they're opinions writer's opinions. dont they have anything good to say at all?

Posted by: brian | September 3, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

SAIWW, be fair. Is the Vice Presidency is just like any other job?

What jobs do you know of that require you to move 3K miles away, travel extensively, put your family in a harsh limelight, and keep you busy virtually non-stop for 4 if not 8 years?

You and I BOTH know why most working mothers (or fathers) can't simply quit their jobs: they need the money.

Do you think she's doing this for the money? "Geez, honey, to make ends meet, I really gotta take that Vice Presidency job."

No, this is about ambition, and putting prestige and over the needs of your children. C'mon, we can't have a reasonable debate here if you're going to act so obtuse.

Posted by: Mr. Brett | September 3, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Palin and her white trash, Jerry Springer brood are going to make for rich political fair. McCain must have searched long and hard to find someone even dumber than Bush.

Posted by: Nomoretards | September 4, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

How nice and white? Almost spotlessly so.
I thought about bleach all the way through.

Now I definately know who I want as President and Vice President:

a man who is disorented on stage,

and a woman who pees in the words, then puts on lipstick and goes out to dinner.

I'm so impressed by the United States!

God bless America!

Posted by: sanity | September 4, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that either McCain and Palin are capable of positive real change in this country. To begin with, and with all due respect for McCain's military background, neither of them represents Americans of today. Neither one of them are in touch with the realities of the problems this country truly faces. And they are incapable of intelligently discussing these issues.

The choice of Palin by McCain displays his ineptness. She has no meaningful experience worth a hoot regardless of the spin doctors. And I could deliver a speech just as well if Mr. Gerson or the actual speechwriter wrote one for me to deliver.
After all, she was well coached. She did a good job of it, there's no denying that, but delivering a speech does not qualify you to be Vice President or more likely President.

McCains health is a major issue also here.
After eight disastrous, wasteful years of Bush do we as patriotic Americans want not only more of the same, but additional devestating agendas from the Supreme Court and the religious right? I think not!

Posted by: sanity | September 5, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Sanity wrote: "The choice of Palin by McCain displays his ineptness. She has no meaningful experience worth a hoot regardless of the spin doctors."

Palin's executive experience as a VP candidate (#2 on the ticket). Far outweighs Obama's experience as #1 on the Democratic ticket. Talk about lack of experience. Obama's experience solely consists of him running for President as a one term senator. Palin has FAR more experience than Obama and John Edwards combined. Yet democrats didn't question Edward's experiences as Kerry's VP choice. It is so hypocritical! Palin has run a town and a state. Obama has never run a town, city, state, or even a company - no executive experience. I sure hear that he is quite experienced at taking bribes from cronies though. Do your research and look at the Chicago papers on all of Obama's shady business deals. Character counts, I'll take McCain any day - a true American who was willing to die for his country.

Jay Peroni, CFP
Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire
www.jayperoni.com

Posted by: Jay Peroni, CFP | September 9, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

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