A former high school athlete and beauty queen, she is also a hunter, fervently pro-life and an outspoken Christian. Not to mention being the mother of five children, including a baby that was just born this spring. In addition, she is the first female on a presidential ticket for the Republicans and represents a major step forward. Senator McCain is known for his maverick ways and certainly demonstrated that with the selection of Gov. Palin as his running mate.
Within days of Palin's selection, news of the pregnancy of her 17-year old daughter, Bristol, hit the wires. In a reversal of roles, many liberals chastised her for failing as a parent while many conservatives, on the other hand, called for sensitivity and understanding.
As a parent I know that, as well-intentioned as we may be, our children sooner or later need to make their own decisions and be their own people. Had Gov. Palin violated her pro-life principles and encouraged her daughter to seek an abortion, she would not be dealing with the heat in the public eye that she now is. But she would be going against something that she claims as a core value -- that every child has value in the eyes of God. Whether a child is planned or not or has a disability or not, their life has worth.
Similar to my post about Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy, I applaud the Palin family for standing behind Bristol and supporting her as she plans to have her child. The statement from Gov. Plain is telling:
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.She is handling the situation as gracefully as to be expected and I respect her for that. Politics aside, she is bravely carrying on the mantel for the sanctity of life. Even beyond the situation with her daughter, Gov. Palin recently gave birth to a son, Trig, after he was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. In an age when many parents are aborting babies with disabilities, Palin and her husband, Todd, chose to go against the grain and bring another beautiful child into the world.
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."
I don't know whether Senator McCain and Governor Palin will be in the White House come January or whether they would even be the best leaders for our country, but I do hope that she continues to speak on behalf of the unborn in a society that continues to treat children is inconvenient and not the blessing that they truly are.