The Palin family seems to have difficulty understanding the meaning of words, not words that might be unfamiliar to most adults, but words like “rogue” and “virgin”.  For example, “rogue” is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “a wandering beggar or tramp; a vagabond…a rascal or scoundrel.”    Either Sarah doesn’t understand what that word means, or she was rather foolish to refer to herself by that word.  Bristol seems to have the same limitation, referring to herself as a “born-again-virgin.”  http://www.examiner.com/x-30616-LA-African-American-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m1d24-Bristol-Palin-is-now-a-born-again-Virgin.  Webster defines “virgin” as a young woman who has never had sexual intercourse.  Either Bristol has previously had sexual intercourse or her baby was the result of an immaculate conception.

Sarah Palin has just announced that she will be coming to Dallas in April to raise money for the purchase of a beautiful white colonial style house, complete with black shutters, which is featured on the website, Palin4Life.com.  I had the impression from the website that this home would provide a place for unwed mothers to live during their pregnancy.  However after great effort, I have learned that this organization does not even provide housing for teenagers who are pregnant, and certainly isn’t focused upon pregnant girls in Dallas of limited financial means.

Caroline Klein of the Downtown Pregnancy Center (the organization that Palin purports to benefit by her appearance at this dinner), confirms that the house is not intended to provide a place to live for ANY teenager who is pregnant.  The purported reason for the Uptown location is to meet the needs of Southern Methodist University (SMU) college students.  For those readers who don’t live in Dallas, SMU is located within Highland Park, which is home to some of Dallas’ wealthiest people.  The current facility run by the Downtown Pregnancy Center is not staffed by a medical doctor and the current facility does not provide contraceptive services or abortion services. Services it does provide consist only of pregnancy testing, sonograms, and they provide “counseling services” to pregnant teens regarding options of adoption, keeping the baby, and abortion, but they refuse to provide any reference to any clinics that perform abortions.

By limiting contraceptives and education regarding them, we are necessarily increasing the national debt by promoting dependent mothers and children.  Palin has made hundreds of thousands of dollars speaking to right-to-life organizations, yet her grandchild, the product of an unmarried teenage pregnancy, receives health care through public assistance. The hypocrisy of this gesture is enough to induce morning sickness.

Consider the fact that Texas teens lead the nation in having babies, as reported by the Dallas Morning News, Nov. 5th 2007.    Texas’ policy is to deny contraceptives without parental consent wherever possible and to push an abstinence-only sex education program.  Compare Texas to California where teen birth rate dropped by 47% during the same period where the state teaches abstinence, but also explains contraception at school, and provides birth control to teenagers free, without parental consent required.  Ibid.  The United States has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the industrialized world, which translates into over 3,000,000 unintended pregnancies each year.  http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/state_data/states/texas.html.  In Texas 18% of women aged 15-44 have incomes below the federal poverty level and 33% of women in this age group are uninsured.  Ibid. In 2005 a mere 464 publically funded family planning clinics in Texas provided contraceptive care to 540,620 women, including 138,050 sexually active teenagers.  Every public dollar spent on family planning services saves the federal government three dollars in Medicare costs for prenatal and newborn care.  Ibid.  Given the efforts Palin has devoted to talking about the federal deficit, it seems she would be in favor doing anything we can to limit the federal funds spent on Medicare.

The most appalling thing to me about this entire event is that Palin is obviously doing this for the publicity.  Yet Palin supporters seem to view her as a noble, virtuous, and the champion of the right to life movement.  The reality is dramatically different.  Palin herself was pregnant before she married.  Her oldest daughter had a baby as a teenager, had difficulty completing high school due to the pregnancy, and now lives with her parents, upon whom she and her child are dependent. Lynn Vincent, the ghost writer of Palin’s book, has publically admitted that she had an abortion.

Other observations and questions related to this event include:

1. You may purchase a Bronze seat for dinner at this fundraiser for $1000.00; Silver seating, dinner, attendance at the VIP reception, and receive a program listing for $10,000.00; Gold seating is $25,000 for two seats, the VIP reception, and program listing; and if you are either really wealthy, or very foolish, you can purchase 4 Platinum seats for $75,000.00.  Why wouldn’t you purchase two tickets separately and save $5000.00?  Do they just think the people paying for these tickets are just too stupid to figure out the best way to buy the ticket, or are those involved with organizing this event just not very adept at using a calculator?

2. Maybe Palin is coming back to Texas because she is pregnant again.  At least this time she will be on a private jet so if she gives birth on the plane the other passengers will be people she knows.

3. The website will only accommodate the purchase by one person of 30 $1000.00 tickets, 20 Silver or Gold tickets, and only a single Platinum ticket.  I think if you want to buy more than one Platinum ticket, it would only be fair that you be allowed to do so.

4. Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer inquired about whether this organization was listed as a 501(c) (3) organization, and so far the organization is not listed on the IRS’s Publication 78 Web site.  See, www.dallasobserver.com.  I too called the IRS this morning, and consulted the IRS web site and there is currently no listing for a 503c (3) organization known as Palin4Life. Since Tom Leppert, the mayor, is going to introduce Palin, I consulted with the mayor’s office and “Ashley” with Mr. Leppert’s office didn’t know anything about the event.

Abortion is an emotional issue for many.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if you want to prevent abortions and limit the national debt the best way to do both is to provide family planning services to teenagers.  The house for which Palin purports to be raising money doesn’t provide a place to live for pregnant teens, it doesn’t provide contraceptives, and it doesn’t provide referrals to girls who might want to opt for an abortion.  When so many teenage girls in Texas need help preventing unwanted pregnancies, and facilitating their independence, it seems a total waste of money to focus on buying a home to serve as a center for girls who attend SMU, and who probably already have the financial means to get the services they might need.

Bristol may have become a celebrity due to the notoriety of her mother. This is the 21st century. Ninety-five percent of people in the United States have pre-marital sex.  It is so common that it has been described as “universal”. http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2006/12/19/index.html It’s time to accept that in the real world, there are no born-again-virgins.

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