Sarah Palin's Stance On Abortion Makes Sense... To Her

During Sarah Palin's speech at the "anti-abortion banquet" in Indiana last week, Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post, Palin spoke about how proud she was to have made the right choice about her pregnancy.

Marcus quotes the Alaska governor:

"I had found out that I was pregnant while out of state first, at an oil and gas conference. While out of state, there just for a fleeting moment, wow, I knew, nobody knows me here, nobody would ever know. I thought, wow, it is easy, could be easy to think, maybe, of trying to change the circumstances. No one would know. No one would ever know.

"Then when my amniocentesis results came back, showing what they called abnormalities. Oh, dear God, I knew, I had instantly an understanding for that fleeting moment why someone would believe it could seem possible to change those circumstances. Just make it all go away and get some normalcy back in life. Just take care of it. Because at the time only my doctor knew the results, Todd didn't even know. No one would know. But I would know. First, I thought how in the world could we manage a change of this magnitude. I was a very busy governor with four busy kids and a husband with a job hundreds of miles away up on the North Slope oil fields. And, oh, the criticism that I knew was coming. Plus, I was old . . .

"So we went through some things a year ago that now lets me understand a woman's, a girl's temptation to maybe try to make it all go away if she has been influenced by society to believe that she's not strong enough or smart enough or equipped enough or convenienced enough to make the choice to let the child live. I do understand what these women, what these girls go through in that thought process."

In other words, Sarah Palin understands the reasons women might want to terminate a pregnancy, but she'd like to change the laws to make sure they can't.

Marcus points out this inconsistency:

This is not a particularly complex point, but it is one toward which Palin seems deliberately obtuse. It came up at the Republican convention last summer, when the Palins issued a statement about their daughter's pregnancy: "We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby." Again, in the world according to Palin, there would be no decision at all. Abortion would be illegal except to save the life of the mother.

I think calling Palin "deliberately obtuse" is probably giving her too much credit. Despite the fact that she herself says she considered having an abortion, she's not willing to do much about President Barack Obama's and the Democrat Party's platform to reduce the underlying reasons that women do choose abortions — from inadequate contraception (or education about it) to lack of economic options to access to emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault, Sarah Palin isn't willing to do much at all for the women who, in her mind, too easily consider abortion. It's just easier (and far more politically expedient), after all, to take away the right to have a safe and legal one from those of us not as strong and moral as herself.

Palin's Personal Choice [Washington Post]