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Sarah Palin on Abortion

Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President


New feminism: pro-woman, pro-life sisterhood

Together, the pro-woman, pro-life sisterhood is telling the young women of America that they are capable of handling an unintended pregnancy and still pursue a career and an education. Strangely, many feminists seem to want to tell these young women that they're NOT capable, that you CAN'T give your child life and still pursue your dreams. The message is: "Women, you are not strong enough or smart enough to do both. You are not capable."

The NEW feminism is telling women they are capable and strong. An if keeping a child isn't possible, adoption is a beautiful choice. It's about empowering women to make REAL CHOICES, not forcing them to accept false ones. It's about compassion and letting these scared young women know that there will be some help there for them to raise their children in those less-than-ideal circumstances.

I believe this so strongly because I've been there. I never planned on being the mother of a son with special needs. I thought, "God will never give me something I can't handle."

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.153 , Nov 23, 2010

Supreme Court oath: impartially apply Constitution

The Supreme Court, along with the rest of the federal judiciary, has tremendous power over our lives today. Their rulings mean the difference between the survival of innocent life and the state-sanctioned killing of innocent life. The reason this is the case is because so many of the people who appoint and approve our judges and justices erroneously believe the courts' duty isn't to interpret the law but to MAKE the law. In cases where their agenda can't prevail among the people's representatives in Congress, they have turned to the courts to make policy. That means having judges and justices who are no longer guided by the Constitution and the law, but by their personal opinions.

But if you look at the oath of office that every Supreme Court justice takes, you see that it commits them to a very different standard. They pledge not to pick winners and losers based on their hearts or their "empathy," but to impartially apply the Constitution and the law.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p. 14-15 , Nov 23, 2010

Supported 1990s TV ad: "Life: What a Beautiful Choice"

For those of us lucky enough to be parents, there is no greater proof of the existence of God than to look into the face of your new baby. This is the greatest gift of family: putting the big things, and little things, into their proper perspective. Family makes us understand that the greatest things in life aren't our doing, that they're not tidy or predictable.

A brilliant pro-life educational campaign from the 1990s made this point very well. It was a commercial that showed smiling, laughing children, with a voice-over that said, "All these children have something in common. All of them were unplanned pregnancies that could have ended in abortion. But their parents toughed it out & discovered that sometimes that best things in life aren't planned." It ended with the simple message: "Life: What a beautiful choice." There was no call for legal action and no guilt ascribed--just a simple message affirming life and reminding Americans that being open to life and family is beautiful.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.103-104 , Nov 23, 2010

Stricter than McCain on abortion rules & stem-cell research

You and Sen. McCain have differences on some issues, McCain's vetting adviser continued. He is pro-life, but he's in favor of exceptions in the cases of rape & incest; you are not. Sen. McCain is in favor of stem cell research; you are not. We'll never ask you to make a statement that contradicts your beliefs, but we expect you to support the policies of the administration you'd be part of. And we may ask you to appear in ads advocating those positions. Do you have a problem with that?

No, I don't, not at all, Palin said.

They asked her nothing to plumb the depths of her knowledge about foreign or domestic policy. They didn't explore her preparedness to be VP. They assumed she knew as much as the average governor, and that what she didn't know, she would pick up on the fly. They weren't searching for problems. They were looking for a last-second solution.

What reassured them was Palin's preternatural calm and self-possession. Never once did she betray any jitters or lack of confusion.

Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.361-362 , Jan 11, 2010

Daughter Piper is poster girl for Alaska Right-to-Life

At the Alaska State Fair I saw the Alaska Right to Life (RTL) booth, where a poster caught my eye, taking my breath away. It featured the sweetest baby girl swathed in pink, pretend angel wings fastened to her soft shoulders.

"That's you, baby," I whispered to Piper [my 7-year-old daughter], as I have every year since she smiled for the picture as an infant. She popped another cloud of cotton candy into her mouth and looked nonchalant. Still the pro-life poster child at the State Fair. Ho-hum.Well, I still thought it was a nice shot, as I did every time I saw it on its advertisements and fund-raiser tickets. It reminded me of the preciousness of life.

It also reminded me of how impatient I am with politics. A staunch advocate of every child's right to be born, I was pro-life enough for the grassroots RTL folks to adopt Piper as their poster child, but I wasn't politically connected enough for the state GOP machine to allow the organization to endorse me in early campaigns.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p. 2-3 , Nov 17, 2009

Choose life even in case of rape or teenage pregnancy

There's no better training ground for politics than motherhood. At one point during the 2006 general election, motherhood became the focus of a unique line of questioning. In my responses to a series of debate questions on abortion, I remained consistent and sincere, explaining how personal and sensitive the issue is and that good people can disagree.

But the debate moderator decided to personalize his hypotheticals with a series of "what if..." questions:

Q: If a woman were, say, raped...

A: I would choose life.

Q: If your daughter were pregnant...

A: Again, I would choose life."

Q: If your teenage daughter got pregnant...

A: I'd counsel a young parent to choose life & consider adoption.

I calmly repeated my answers to all o his "what-ifs," then looked pointedly to my right and my left, to one opponent, then the other. Then I returned to the moderator and said, "I'm confident you'll be asking the other candidates these same questions, right?" Of course, he didn't.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.115-116 , Nov 17, 2009

Protect our daughters with parental notification law

[Track] was playing for the Alaska All-Stars when he blew out his shoulder. In the ER, I was shocked when I saw Track sitting on a gurney, disheveled, ashen, and shaking. "I asked for a cup of water, Mom," he said. "They said I couldn't have one until you got here."

I turned to the nurse, and my eyes said more than words could have. She said, "we can't treat him until you sign consent forms because he's a minor." Of course I understood, but I still fumed inside. I even wondered out loud about why this big, strapping, nearly grown man who was overcome with pain couldn't even get a drink of water without parental consent, yet a 13-year-old girl could undergo a painful, invasive, and scary abortion and no parent even had to be NOTIFIED. The nurse seemed to agree with me, and on the spot I mentally renewed my commitment to help change Alaska's parental notification law so that our daughters would have the same support and protection we give to our children in other medical situations.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.168-169 , Nov 17, 2009

Fleetingly considered abortion at 43; understands sentiment

[On a trip to New Orleans], I noticed some peculiar yet familiar physical symptoms. There was no way I could buy a home pregnancy test in Alaska. The cashiers would know, and the next thing I'd see would be a headline. Since nobody knew me in New Orleans I [got a] pregnancy test box. Slowly a pink image materialized on the stick.

I quickly prayed about this surreal situation. I could hear the critics now: "She'll be distracted from state business."

I sighed and stared at the ceiling. And for a split second it hit me: "I'm out of town. No one knows I'm pregnant. No one would ever have to know." It was a fleeting thought, a sudden understanding of why many women feel pressured to make the "problem" go away. Yes, the timing of this pregnancy wasn't ideal. But that wasn't the baby's fault. I knew, though, what goes through a woman's mind when she finds herself in a difficult situation. At that moment, I was thankful for right-to-life groups that affirm the value of the child.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.171-172 , Nov 17, 2009

Chose judges who were strict Constitutional constructionists

In ordinary times, there would not be national interest in issues like my Alaska State Supreme Court appointments. But I had just appointed a well-qualified woman to serve on the highest court in the state, and now I got a call at midnight from the pasto of a large ministry in the Lower 48. The problem? I had appointed a judge who this pastor didn't think was pro-life enough.

I then explained what I used as criteria for my judicial appointments, and that I chose judges who were strict constitutional constructionists, since those who were not often undermined public trust by making law from the hip.

"Alaska follows the Missouri Plan," I explained. That system of judicial appointments was designed to remove political biases from the process, but instead adds to it by limiting governors to a small group of appointees to choose from. The woman I nominated didn't pass the litmus test he wanted to apply, but the other guy wouldn't have passed it either.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.349-350 , Nov 17, 2009

Use my daughter Bristol as a teaching tool for others

Q: Do you think that we should talk about birth control with our teenage sons and daughters?

A: Yes. Use me as the example of why you should, even more admittedly. My daughter, of course she is 18 years old, but has really been forced to grow up very quickly now and starting her own family and you know, life has changed so quickly for her. But if we can use this, and if my daughter Bristol can use her story as a kind of teaching tool for others, then so be it. Let us do that.

Source: Univision Interview with Sarah Palin, by Jorge Ramos , Oct 26, 2008

Constitution does offer an inherent right to privacy

Q: Do you think there’s an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

A: I do. Yeah, I do.

Q: The cornerstone of Roe v. Wade.

A: I do. And I believe that individual states can best handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in an issue like that.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Oct 1, 2008

Abortion should be states’ issue, not federal mandate

Q: Why is Roe v. Wade a bad decision?

A: I think it should be a states’ issue not a federal government-mandated, mandating yes or no on such an important issue. I’m, in that sense, a federalist, where I believe that states should have more say in the laws of their lands and individual areas. Now, foundationally, it’s no secret that I’m pro-life that I believe in a culture of life is very important for this country. Personally that’s what I would like to see further embraced by America.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Oct 1, 2008

While mayor, Wasilla charged rape victims for rape kits

Sarah Palin’s hometown required women to pay for their own rape examinations while she was mayor, a practice her police chief fought to keep as late as 2000.

Former state Rep. Eric Croft, a Democrat, sponsored a state law requiring cities to provide th examinations free of charge to victims. He said the only ongoing resistance he met was from Wasilla, where Palin was mayor from 1996 to 2002. “It was one of those things everyone could agree on except Wasilla,” Croft said. “We couldn’t convince the chief of police to stop charging them.“

Alaska’s Legislature in 2000 banned the practice of charging women for rape exam kits -- which experts said could cost up to $1,000. Some supporters of Palin say they believe she had no knowledge of the practice. But critics call it ”outrageous“ and question Palin’s commitment to helping women who are the victims of violence.

Alaska has the worst record of any state in rape. The rape rate in Alaska is 2.5 times the national average.

Source: Jessica Yellin on CNN.com , Sep 22, 2008

Rejected sympathy for Down’s Syndrome son, as gift from God

She is opposed to abortion except to save the life of the mother. When she learned that her infant son would be born with Down’s Syndrome, she said she never considered ending the pregnancy. When Trig was born in April, she penned a note to loved ones in the voice of “Trig’s creator, Your Heavenly Father,” rejecting sympathy for her son.
Source: Boston Globe, “A valentine to evangelical base”, p. A12 , Aug 30, 2008

Opposes embryonic stem cell research

According to an October 2006 profile in the Anchorage Daily News, Palin opposes stem cell research, physician-assisted suicide, and state health benefits for same-sex partners.
Source: Boston Globe, “A valentine to evangelical base”, p. A12 , Aug 30, 2008

Every baby is created with a future and potential

Q: Your stand on abortion?

A: I’m pro-life. I’ll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.

Source: Q&A with Newsmax.com’s Mike Coppock , Aug 29, 2008

Safe Haven bill: allow surrendering newborns without penalty

Governor Palin Signs ‘Safe Haven’ Bill Into Law: Bill allows parents to surrender newborns without prosecution

Palin signed House Bill 29 into law today. The “Safe Haven for Infants Act” passed the State House in May and passed the Senate on Jan. 19. The bill allows a parent to safely surrender a newborn child without the threat of prosecution, as long as there is no evidence the infant has been physically injured.

Without penalty, a parent may leave the infant in the physical custody of a peace officer, physician or hospital employee, or a volunteer or employee of a fire station or emergency medical service. “All children deserve to begin their lives in a loving, protective family,” Governor Palin said. “When that fails, it is our job as a state to make sure that children are protected.”

The Commissioner of Health and Social Services said, “Unfortunately, abandonment of infants has occurred in Alaska. It is our hope that the passage of the ‘Safe Haven’ act has ended that forever.”

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 08-020, “Safe Haven” , Feb 11, 2008

Adoption is best plan for permanency for foster care kids

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Adoption” , Oct 22, 2007

Pro-life

I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman. I am opposed to any expansion of gambling in Alaska.
Source: Campaign website, www.palinforgovernor.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

Choose life, even if her own daughter were raped

The candidates were pressed on their stances on abortion and were even asked what they would do if their own daughters were raped and became pregnant.

Palin said she would support abortion only if the mother’s life was in danger. When it came to her daughter, she said, “I would choose life.”

Knowles, responding to the scenario involving his daughter, said he would counsel her and talk to her, but it would be her decision. “I would love her and support her no matter what decision she made,” he said

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: AP coverage of public TV debate , Nov 3, 2006

If Roe v. Wade got overturned, let people decide what’s next

Q: If Roe v. Wade were overturned and states could once again prohibit abortion, in your view, to what extent should abortion be prohibited in Alaska?

A: Under this hypothetical scenario, it would not be up to the governor to unilaterally ban anything. It would be up to the people of Alaska to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile , Oct 22, 2006

Opposes use of public funds for abortions

Q: Do you support or oppose the use of public funds for abortion (e.g., paying for abortion, promoting abortion, subsidizing organizations that provide or refer for abortion)?

A: I oppose the use of public funds for elective abortions.

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile , Oct 22, 2006

Pro-contraception, pro-woman, pro-life

What about the social issues that Alaskans, especially the party faithful who often decide primary elections, may find important? Here’s what Sarah Palin has to say about abortion.

Palin said last month that no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child. She is pro-contraception and said she’s a member of a pro-woman but anti-abortion group called Feminists for Life. “I believe in the strength and the power of women, and the potential of every human life,” she said.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, “Little play,” by K. Hopkins , Aug 6, 2006

Only exception for abortion is if mother’s life would end

Q: What are your views on abortion?

A: I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctor’s determination that the mother’s life would end if the pregnancy continued. I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending another life.

Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire , Jul 31, 2006

Other governors on Abortion: Sarah Palin on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 28, 2011