October 9, 2015
Bristol Palin: Former Teen Mom Says It's 'Crazy' That Washington School Gives Free Birth Control

Bristol Palin became nationally known in 2008 largely because she was a pregnant teen thrust into the political spotlight, but now the conservative advocate is taking a very different viewpoint, saying it's irresponsible for a school in Washington to be providing free birth control to students.

In a blog post this week, Palin discussed a report on a high school in Washington state that gave students free IUDs and hormone implants. Palin cited a conservative report from the group Judicial Watch that claimed the state was providing hormone implants to students as young as 10.

Bristol Palin said she was aghast at reading that, writing that it was wrong for the school to offer birth control to girls so young.

In her Patheos blog, Palin wrote about the issue.

"Do you remember what it was like to be a 10 year old? I remember being an unabashed tomboy concerned with playing outside and acing 5th grade. But life isn't so innocent and carefree for some 10 years old in Washington State.

"It is crazy that the government is offering a controversial form of birth control that can have serious life-long side effects to 10-year-old CHILDREN, but then to do all of this behind a parent's back is simply outrageous!"

While Bristol Palin was outraged at the news, others noted that the program has actually been very effective at preventing teen pregnancy. In Colorado, a similar six-year program to offer long-term birth control helped slash the teen pregnancy rate by 40 percent, and the abortion rate by 42 percent.

As the Huffington Post noted, these options are considered an excellent one for teenagers, who aren't normally as reliable with other forms of daily birth control or contraceptives like condoms.

"The vulnerability of the teenage population is what makes LARCs so wonderful," Dr. Eduardo Lara-Torre, a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' board, told Jezebel in March. "Teenagers tend to not be great planners, and having a method that's reliable, appropriate for their age, safe, long-acting and reversible makes birth control so much easier for them."

This isn't the first time that Briston Palin has raised a bit of controversy surrounding her views on pregnancy. Earlier this year Palin announced that she was pregnant with her second child, which Bristol described as a disappointment after having taken such a strong stance on abstinence.

"I wanted you guys to be the first to know that I am pregnant," Bristol wrote. "Honestly, I've been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one… Life moves on no matter what. So no matter how you feel, you get up, get dressed, show up, and never give up."

Bristol added that she knew the pregnancy was a "huge disappointment" to her friends and family, and asked for privacy for herself and her son.

After she gained fame in 2008 as the daughter of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Bristol became an abstinence advocate, and was paid quite well for doing it. In 2009, she took a position with the Candie's Foundation as a teen pregnancy ambassador, telling teens that abstinence was the most effective form of birth control.

"There may be multiple forms of contraception, but I'm here to say that one fact remains. Those that practice abstinence have no chance of becoming pregnant," Palin said at an appearance in 2010. "Abstinence is not about morality, it is about reality. It is the only thing that works every time. My message is a simple one: Don't make the same decision I made, just wait. Young ladies, please hear me."

But the position soon led to controversy. A Forbes report showed that Bristol Palin made $262,500 from the foundation, while the organization only gave about $35,000 in grants to charities.

[Image via Instagram/Bristol Palin]