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Palin on Abortion and Gays-NYTIMES

Gov. Sarah Palin’s views on abortion are pretty well known. She’s opposed, pretty much across the board. And the entire right-leaning side of the world heralded her and her husband’s decision to go forward with a pregnancy, at 44, that resulted in the April birth of Trig, who has Down syndrome. She barely talks about her infant, except to say that she understands special needs children because of Trig.

And given that Governor Palin announced at the beginning of the Republican National Convention that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant and will have the child and marry the father, it raises questions about a woman’s choice — young or old. Those decisions somehow just hold sway, with women of all party stripes, and none in particular.

In interviews with CBS News’ Katie Couric, (again), Governor Palin walked a bit of a fuzzy line on the issues of a woman impregnated due to rape or incest. And it seems, from this interview, that Governor Palin would be hesitant to impose criminal charges against someone who had an abortion under such difficult circumstances:

Ms. Couric: If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, do you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion, and why?

Ms. Palin: I am pro-life. And I’m unapologetic in my position that I am pro-life. And I understand there are good people on both sides of the abortion debate. In fact, good people in my own family have differing views on abortion, and when it should be allowed. Do I respect people’s opinions on this? Now, I would counsel to choose life. I would also like to see a culture of life in this country. But I would also like to take it one step further. Not just saying I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country, but I want them, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported, and adoptions made easier.

Ms. Couric: But ideally, you think it should be illegal for a girl who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?

Ms. Palin: I’m saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. And, um, if you’re asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an … abortion, absolutely not. That’s nothing I would ever support.

Ms. Couric: Some people have credited the morning-after pill for decreasing the number of abortions. How do you feel about the morning-after pill?

Ms. Palin: Well, I am all for contraception. And I am all for preventative measures that are legal and safe, and should be taken, but Katie, again, I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception. And I would like to see …

Ms. Couric: And so you don’t believe in the morning-after pill?

Ms. Palin: … I would like to see fewer and fewer abortions in this world. And again, I haven’t spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that.

Ms. Couric: I’m sorry, I just want to ask you again. Do you not support or do you condone or condemn the morning-after pill?

Ms. Palin: Personally, and this isn’t McCain-Palin policy …

Ms. Couric: No, that’s OK, I’m just asking you.

Ms. Palin: But personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception.

As for evolution, and how it should be taught, Ms. Palin says:

“Oh, I think it should be taught as an accepted principle. And, as you know, I say that also as the daughter of a school teacher, a science teacher, who has really instilled in me a respect for science. It should be taught in our schools. And I won’t deny that I see the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth. But that is not part of the state policy or a local curriculum in a school district. Science should be taught, in science class.”

And on gays, Governor Palin said: “But what you’re talking about, I think, value here, what my position is on homosexuality and...

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