Sarah Palin’s new book could easily be subtitled, “A Pro-Life Story.” Like threads woven through a baby blanket, pro-life observations run throughout America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag.
“…the truth is, every baby is a miracle, whether he or she is ‘planned,’ and whether he or she is ‘wanted.’”
I don’t recall ever reading a book written by a former officeholder that included so many pro-life references. Palin may be the most prominent woman in American history to espouse the pro-life message. But Palin does not seem to consider herself that unusual, given the fact that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman.
“Some people are calling the emergence of these successful conservative female leaders a new phenomenon in America—as if we’d just invented smart, capable women who also believe in the Constitution, the sanctity of life, and American exceptionalism. Truth is, mama grizzlies have been with us for a long time. These are the same women who settled the frontier, drove the wagons, ploughed the fields, ran cattle, taught their kids, raised their families—and fought for women’s rights.”
Throughout the book, Palin makes it clear that the fight for women’s rights should not be incompatible with a woman’s role on the home front, but that some misguided groups have tried to make it that way.
“…it’s actually the liberal women’s groups that have little in common with the majority of American women. Most women love their families and cherish motherhood. But all too often the leaders of the modern feminist movement seem disdainful of traditional family life and the joys and fulfillment we find in motherhood.”
Palin cites a 2009 Gallup poll showing that more Americans consider themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice”—and that includes American women. She notes that the “pro-abortion orthodoxy of liberal feminists” has been undermined by ultrasound technology, which provides a window to the development of the child in the womb. She remarks that affirming the dignity of every life and defending the defenseless actually represent fundamental American values.
Palin also suggests that the pro-life stand is empowering to women, while the pro-abortion view reduces them to victims.
“Strangely, many feminists seem to want to tell these young women that they’re not capable, that you can’t give your child life and still pursue your dreams. Their message is: ‘Women, you are not strong enough or smart enough to do both. You are not capable.”
Perhaps Palin is so passionate about the pro-life cause because she doesn’t approach it from the Ivory Tower, but from the kitchen table. She knows what it’s like to become pregnant at a stressful time, while holding a demanding job and already raising several children. She’s experienced the shock of finding out that her baby would be born with special challenges. But once her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, was born, she realized what an incredible gift her family had been given in being entrusted with his life.
“…when they laid Trig in my arms and he just kind of melted into my chest, he seemed to say to me, ‘See, Mom, God knows what he’s doing. He gave me to you and you to me and this is going to be a wonderful journey.’”
You may or may not believe that Sarah Palin is her party’s best hope for 2012. You may or may not be enamored with her reality TV show or her daughter’s turn on “Dancing With the Stars.” But she is reaching millions with the pro-life message—a message conceived in both the head and the heart.
“Choosing life may not be the easiest path, but it’s always the right path. I’ve had that confirmation. The timing or the circumstances may not be perfect, but God sees a way when we cannot, and he does not make mistakes. Bristol and I both put our faith in that belief and we’re learning together that what can seem like life’s greatest challenge can turn out to be life’s greatest blessing.”
LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is an opinion columnist for LifeNews.com. She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.