Republicans Must Learn From Palin's Brave Admission That She Weighed An Abortion

Before a tough crowd, the Alaska governor shows she understands what it's like to consider it.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin displayed one minute aspect of her personality that even I could take a shine to. Speaking last night to an anti-abortion rights dinner in Indiana, Gov. Palin told the crowd about her struggle with her fifth pregnancy last year. She found out she was pregnant while on a trip out of town. Her son, Trig, was born with Down syndrome. She actually said publicly that she considered having an abortion on that trip—not an easy admission, especially before such a judgmental group:

"There, just for a fleeting moment, I thought, I knew, nobody knows me here. Nobody would ever know. I thought, wow, it is easy. It could be easy to think maybe of trying to change the circumstances. No one would know. No one would ever know."

Ultimately, Palin said she realized she had to stay true to what she'd been saying for years — that "life is valuable because it is ordained."

"I had just enough faith to know that trying to change the circumstances wasn't any answer," Palin said.

But the governor said the experience gave her an appreciation for what women and girls facing unwanted pregnancies go through.

"I do understand what these women, what these girls go through in that thought process."

I see this as brave on her part because when she mentioned she understood "what these women ... go through," that is precisely the problem with much of the anti-abortion rights movement. Many members don't understand or don't care, quite frankly, what women and girls with unplanned pregnancies do go through, except to the extent they want to try to persuade them to have children they're ill-equipped to raise. To go up against that lack of compassion, even though her audience knows she did decide to carry her pregnancy to term, shows Gov. Palin truly does understand what it's like.

On the other hand, the good-old armored version of Gov. Palin also spoke out, when she criticized President Obama for being pro-choice.

And as long as the GOP continues to let itself be dominated by atavist religious conservatives, it will keep its title as minority party for a long, long time.

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