In her more recent statements, Sarah Palin has been coached to utter statements such as these regarding her views on women’s personal freedom:
Y’know, with my respect for the sanctity of life and my belief in the potential of life I know that this aspect of the abortion issue is very sensitive, and, you know, is a very private matter also.
“Oh, great,” you’re supposed to think, “Sarah Palin thinks abortion is a sensitive and private matter.” “Oh, gee,” you’re supposed to conclude, “I guess if Sarah Palin became President she would respect women’s right to control their own bodies, you know, with abortion being a sensitive and private matter and all.”
The problem is that when Sarah Palin has been specifically asked for her policy views about what practices she would put into the law to restrict Americans’ freedoms, she’s hummed a different tune. When asked by the 2006 Eagle Forum Questionnaire to complete the sentence, “I believe abortion should be _______,” Palin wrote:
I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctor’s determination that the mother’s life would end if the pregnancy continued. I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society, we cannot condone ending an innocent’s life.
In a 2006 gubernatorial debate on KAKM-TV, Sarah Palin told you exactly what she’d do if she got the chance:
Libby Casey: Suppose Senator John Doe puts forth a constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and he asked you to attend the announcement and support him in that. Would you do it?
Sarah Palin: You’re, you’re asking if… in front of me were legislation that I would be asked to sign?
Libby Casey: No, if he was going to put forth a constitutional amendment, and he just wanted your support, you know, as a party member, as the leader of the state.
Sarah Palin: Um, I would. I would. And it’s no secret that I’m pro-life and I don’t hide that and nor am I ashamed of that but I am pro-life and yes, a, a proposal like that, I would stand by it.
There you have it, twice over: vote for Sarah Palin and you’ll get policies that force 12-year-old girls who’ve been raped by a teacher to carry and bear and be a parent to the rapist’s child. We’re talking about 7th grade girls here. Yes, it happens, and yes, Sarah Palin wants to give the rapist a special prize and the raped girl a special burden… because Sarah Palin prizes her sensibilities over the right to self-determination of an entire nation of women and girls. Forget Sarah Palin’s pretty, distracting words about how “private” and “sensitive” the issue is. She’s told you, point blank, what she would like to do if given the political power. Should the increasingly old and cancerous John McCain die, she wants to be your President.
Maybe some of you out there still don’t believe that Sarah Palin would really do this, even though she’s told you more than once that this is exactly her intention. Maybe you think Sarah Palin is lying to you.
That’s an understandable suspicion, considering that Sarah Palin has already lied to you about cooperating with the Troopergate investigation, that Sarah Palin has already lied to you about having “killed the Bridge to Nowhere” when she actually supported it until the Congress killed it, that Sarah Palin has already lied to you about the amount of energy produced by the state of Alaska, that Sarah Palin has already lied to you about the scientific consensus of Alaska state agencies regarding the threatened status of the Polar Bear.
Yes, considering the track record of Sarah Palin as a liar, it’s understandable that you might think Sarah Palin has lied to you about her policy plans on abortion, too. Maybe, just maybe, she’s a clandestine pro-choice activist seeking to fool all the anti-choice activists into voting her into office so she can whip off her mask and with a “ha ha!” appoint Gloria Steinem to the Supreme Court. Maybe. And maybe I am actually the Queen of Spain.
But I take the point; when you’re dealing with a liar, you can’t really trust in the liar’s words. If you want to know what a liar is going to do in the future, you have to look at what they’ve done in the past.
Fine. As David Talbot reports with more than one source, here’s what Sarah Palin has actually done in the past…
Some background: In 1996, the evangelical church community of which Sarah Palin is a part engaged in a successful campaign to take over the board of the only hospital in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley which offered abortions. After the takeover, the new evangelical hospital board declared that the hospital would offer no abortions. A local OB-GYN doctor named Susan Lemagie filed suit in court with ten women who as a consequence had to travel far out of state to obtain abortions, seeking a court ruling that the hospital, a nonreligious nonprofit institution built using state and other public funds, must offer the legal public health service of abortion. Dr. Lemagie’s coalition won in court, based on the Alaska Supreme Court’s reading of Roe v. Wade and Article I Section 22 of the Alaska Constitution: “The right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed.” The court stated:
A woman’s control of her body, and the choice whether or when to bear children, involves the kind of decision-making that is “necessary for . . . civilized life and ordered liberty.” Baker, 471 P.2d at 401-02. Our prior decisions support the further conclusion that the right to an abortion is the kind of fundamental right and privilege encompassed within the intention and spirit of Alaska’s constitutional language. “[D]ecisions whether to accomplish or prevent conception are among the most private and sensitive.” …
We stated in Breese v. Smith, 501 P.2d 159, 169 (Alaska 1972), that “few things [are] more personal than one’s body.” [Fn. 8] In Breese, a school policy regulating hair length was at issue; the regulation was held unconstitutional because the State failed to show a compelling interest that justified the policy. Id. at 170-72. Surely “few things are more personal” than a woman’s control of her body, including the choice of whether and when to have children. Of all decisions a person makes about his or her body, the most profound and intimate relate to two sets of ultimate questions: first, whether, when and how one’s body is to become the vehicle for another human being’s creation; second, when and how–this time there is no question of “whether”–one’s body is to terminate its organic life….
For the above reasons, we are of the view that reproductive rights are fundamental, and that they are encompassed within the right to privacy expressed in article I, section 22 of the Alaska Constitution. These rights may be legally constrained only when the constraints are justified by a compelling state interest, and no less restrictive means could advance that interest. These fundamental reproductive rights include the right to an abortion.
A set of evangelical Christians in the Mat-Su Valley were incensed and outraged that Dr. Susan Lemagie would dare employ her legal right to go to court with a constitutional challenge. They were so incensed and outraged that they picketed Lemagie’s clinic for months. Lemagie’s poised 16-year-old daughter recalled in a 1998 issue of Newsweek the intense community pressure raised against not only her mother but her 12-year-old self for daring to defend women’s legal right to an abortion:
The initial community reaction to the case was troubling. At school, many of my conservative friends became more distant… “Your mom’s the only doctor in the state who does abortions,” my fourth-grade classmate shouted as he bolted across the playground, leaving me, red-faced and furious, on the swings…. Comments occasionally floated toward me in the halls: “Her mom kills babies. Isn’t that so disgusting?!” Local preachers from varying denominations condemned my mother from the pulpit. Picketers began protesting at the hospital across the street from my mom’s clinic. In late ’94, when the national papers carried stories about bombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors, they moved to the sidewalk outside the clinic. My mother no longer talked about managed care and AIDS; she talked about buying a bulletproof vest.
I don’t think my family ever seriously believed that a fanatic with an automatic rifle lurked across the parking lot from my mom’s office, but the horrific thought remained in my 12-year-old brain. Small bands of picketers showed up maybe once a week throughout the first winter after the lawsuit was filed. Whipped by the January wind, their crimson ears looked as if they wanted to detach and wait in the car for their owners. My dad made a point of taking a picture of every car, every license plate, every group of grim strangers holding hideous pictures of infant corpses. “If a bomb ever went off,” he told me recently, “I could have just dropped off prime-suspect identification at the police station.”
Mr. Lemagie wasn’t paranoid to take care: the sister of one of my wife’s friends is one of the people killed by anti-abortion activists.
Who was one of the picketers so determined to deny all Alaska women the right to an abortion, no matter that abortion is legal in Alaska? Who was one of the picketers so outraged that Dr. Susan Lemagie exercised her right to judicial review as an American citizen? Who was one of the picketers, so sure of her moral rectitude that she would attempt to shut down Dr. Susan Lemagie, law and liberty be damned?
According to two sources, Sarah Palin.
Do you want Sarah Palin to be president?