News that the 17-year-old daughter of Sen. John McCain‘s running mate is pregnant out of wedlock has prompted calls from leading social conservatives to respect the privacy of Sarah Palin‘s family.
The pro-family conservatives were careful to say they did not condone pregnancy out of wedlock and wanted to reduce its occurence. But they praised the fact that the teenager has decided to have the child.
“Fortunately, Bristol is following her mother and father’s example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “We are committed to praying for Bristol and her husband to be and the entire Palin family as they walk through a very private matter in the eyes of the public.”
Perkins also said, however, that “unfortunately, teenage pregnancy has become all too common in today’s society regardless of a family’s economic or social status. It is a problem that we remain committed to reducing through encouraging young people to practice abstinence.”
Rumors of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy had arisen in the days since Mr. McCain announced her mother as his running mate on Friday. The Alaska governor made the announcement Monday in an attempt to quell rumors that her youngest son, born earlier this year, was instead her grandson.
Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America, called the pregnancy “a family issue” and said the Palins “should work this out among themselves.” She also said the news would not curb enthusiasm over the recently completed GOP presidential ticket.
“I understand that she is marrying the father,” Mrs. Combs said. “Families go through things everyday, and no I don’t think it’ll be a negative on the GOP ticket.”
Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family who endorsed Mr. McCain following his naming of Mrs. Palin as his running mate, commended the Palin family for living out their pro-life values.
“The media are already trying to spin this as evidence Gov. Palin is a ‘hypocrite,’ but all it really means is that she and her family are human,” said Mr. Dobson, who last week referred to Mrs. Palin’s as ‘God’s answer’ for Mr. McCain’s running mate. “They are in my prayers and those of millions of Americans.”