Palin’s ‘Brave Choice’

Sarah and Trig Palin at the Republican National Convention.
Sarah and Trig Palin at the Republican National Convention. (photo: CNS/Reuters)

Here’s how one woman describes how her own beliefs, and those of many other American women, were challenged by Sarah Palin’s choice to give birth to her son Trig, who has Down syndrome:

Sarah Palin did something unforgivable. She succeeded at building the dream life — the happy family and high-powered career — that the feminist movement champions. In many ways, I saw her as a reflection of everything I hadn’t yet accomplished. Her plate was certainly more full than mine, yet she was able to gracefully do it all. I, on the other hand, can hardly pump out a decent essay once a week with all of my family obligations. On top of it, she is beautiful. And most of all — the most unforgivable slap in the face to modern women everywhere — she had given birth to a child with Down syndrome.

She stared into the face of every modern, latte-drinking, yoga-practicing, glamour- and convenience-craving, high-powered modern woman’s nightmare. She was told she was carrying a child with Down’s. And she went ahead and had him. Not only had him, but brought him proudly center-stage, loved him, accepted his birth and his disability, viewed him as a blessing and not a liability. With the support of a loving and devoted husband, she even forged ahead with her high-powered career.

No one with compassion — certainly not the writers of this piece — would judge a woman for making a different decision in such a wrenching situation. But perhaps Sarah Palin’s choice unsettled me, not because it was necessarily the only moral choice, but because it was the more courageous one. I can honestly say after nearly being in her shoes that I don’t know what choice I would have made.

Is it possible that it was for this, above all, that Sarah Palin, one of our country’s only female governors, got branded with an “S”— for Stupid, for Silly, for Shallow? All because she held up a mirror to us?

When I saw her with her beautiful baby, I felt Shame for questioning what my choice would have been. Perhaps I should be branded as well.

The complete post, co-authored by Jennifer Ginsburg and Heather Robinson and entitled “Down Syndrome: Sarah Palin’s Brave Choice”, is available at the blog.