Thursday, September 11, 2008

The hockey mom

I'm fascinated by Sarah Palin. It's always good to see a woman being given the opportunity to reach a high level in politics, the workplace, anything. She's attractive, feisty, talks the talk...

BUT.

Her beliefs are reactionary. She apparently doesn't believe in abortion, whatever the circumstances of conception, even rape. She thinks that teenagers should be taught abstinence as contraception. Now I am not for one minute suggesting that Sarah's 17 year old daughter Bristol should have had an abortion, she is above the age of consent and that choice is for her and her alone. I am not too sure that I would be happy about my 17 year old getting married, but again that is the young couple's personal choice. At least I hope it is. What worries me is that Sarah Palin's conservative policy views would not enable other teenagers to have choices in future, nor help educate them in safe sex. Even the experiences of her own family have not made her get real.

What concerns me even more is that Sarah is the mother of a five month old son with Down's Syndrome. Again I respect her decision to carry on with the pregnancy, if indeed she knew the diagnosis before birth. I do not in any way believe that all disabled babies should be aborted, to do so would devalue the life of my own son. After all, many disabilities cannot be detected in the womb or actually occur due to birth accidents. But I do defend the opportunity for parents to have information and choices where appropriate.

At five months old it is surely too early to establish what that child's prognosis is, beyond recognising or ruling out some perhaps medical issues such as the heart problems which are common with the syndrome. For every happy, smiley child with Down's, there is probably a much more severely learning disabled one. A dual diagnosis of Down's and autism is not uncommon, with all the behavioural problems that can bring. All children with the syndrome will require support throughout their lives.

I have personal experience of how much attention a child with special needs requires in the early years. The importance of early intervention. The number of therapy and assessment appointments which must be attended. The battles to get the right help, the right education (though I guess a Governor/possible Vice President might not have to fight the same battles?). It's hard enough to balance all that with one other child and a very part-time job. I can only assume that Sarah Palin does not intend to take on the role of main carer herself. But what about the emotional impact of just being his Mum?

I wish her luck with her family.

Three notable things:

1. The doctor's surgery had misbooked my appointment for next Thursday instead of today. I have had to rebook for Monday and will be rushing from one doctor for myself to another to discuss son 2's x-ray...

2. I have a written a little more of my assessment today but have found it hard to concentrate because of...

3. ....Caroline's Black Boxes Widget! If you are visiting my blog from the widget please do stop and say hello in the comments, so I can visit you too! ( PS who on earth would offer the choice of toothache or migraine?!)

21 comments:

Ashley Ladd said...

LOL about the toothache/migraine question. It wasn't me although I did arrive her on the black box widget.

Kelly Kirch said...

In from black box.

I'm for choice. It's not the baby's fault.

Val said...

hi. i am also from the black box!!!
nice blog - agree with you totally on the prochoice issue.
Also worried that SP is trying to remove polar bears from the Red Data List - nothing to do with oil in Alaska i suppose??

Lacer said...

She concerns me to, I liked a slightly frivolous comment I heard about her the other day, I think it was on Mock the Week, where one of the comedians joked about a photo of her sitting in front of a dead bear ornamenting her office, "She may be pro-life, but isn't she a little confused?".

I feel for the 17 year old daughter, I hope it was her choice to get married to.

Good point about how is she going to combine this with caring for a disabled child, considering the age of McCain, if he gets in, she could then quite easily be the president after him.

J.

Hayes R. said...

Have you considered self publishing your blog as a book? Or maybe you have that finished manuscript gathering dust on your desk?

I found what I think is a new website, WorldWide Alliance of Writers, www.wwaow.com. What you get is 5 printed copies of your book and a listing on their ecommerce web site for $80. Not much is on there yet but nothing like being an early adopter...

Cathy said...

Welcome Ashley, Kelly and Val. I've visited you all today - great blogs!

willow said...

I'm here via the mysterious black box!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I think Sarah Palin is Very Scary. She could be the US equivalent of Margaret Thatcher. Eek.

Marianne said...

Hello again Cathy. Very wise comments about Sarah Palin. She does represent a particular type of reaction, scary American. I agree with you that we need to live in a world where everyone can make an informed choice without prejudice.

Papercuts said...

I'm just recovering from a migraine, so I'd take toothache every time!

Got here through the timesucking black box as well. :D

Dakota Rebel said...

Yup, I came via black box too.

XoXoXo
Dakota Rebel

Trixie said...

Oh I didn't put that option in, that's for sure! lol. I'm in from you visiting me. Cause I'm totally leaving blackboxing alone at the moment, cause I'm not getting anything done! lol

liz fenwick said...

What I think the best thing about Sarah Palin is that it will make for an interesting race and hopefully get more people off their bottoms to vote........

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Yes, we both know about the constant care our children need. I don't agree with a lot of Sarah Palin's views but I do also wish her luck with her family.

CJ xx

Virtual Voyage said...

Came via the black box - noted the OU course with interest...!

Dave said...

I chose sorbet over ice cream and here I am...

Tammy said...

Hey, I got here via the blackbox! Just saying hi. :o)

I agree with you: Sarah Palin concerns me as well. She's actually the reason why I will not vote for McCain; had he chosen someone else (except for Huckabee. LOL), anyone else, I would have decided to vote for him.

credit savvy said...

i'm for life


credit repair

Come on over to My Blog anytime thanks

GreenJello said...

Hello, direct from the Black Box!

I'd take a toothache over a migraine, personally... but that't not what lead me here. It may be that I prefer smiles over frowns. :)

jeff@sally said...

Hello, I arrived via the black box as well. :)

I seem to be in the minority here on Sarah Palin. I do agree with her on most issues. Choice is such a misleading term when it comes to young teens having sex and ending the lives of their babies. This is not about free choice or we would let murdurers kill people, thieves steal, Satan worshipers slaughter kitties. That is their choice as well right? I get to ultrasound babies and can see their hearts beating as early as 5 weeks 3 days into the pregnancy. Life is amazing. I don't think you are doing a woman any favors by offering her an abortion that will haunt her for the rest of her days. Then she is mom to a dead baby rather then a live baby. The favor is to love and support her and offer her options on how to take care of her child. I am waiting to be pelted with tomatoes and shoes, etc for my words here. But it is truly what I believe. :)

Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

Darth Palin is a frightening woman who should be kept as far away from any seat of power as is possible.

That she is one heart attack away from the presidency (assuming the Republicans steal a third general election this decade) should make everyone quake in their boots, and does for anyone sane.

A photo you might like:

http://www.orkut.com/Main#AlbumZoom.aspx?uid=5071251595342495311&pid=1221963654164&aid=1$pid=1221963654164