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Palin’s pain is that of many other parents

Earlier this year, a group of teenagers and pre-teens gathered for a celebration of abstinence from pre-marital sex at a local church.

The message was clear: Don’t have sex before you’re married.

The secondary message also was clear: If you make a mistake, it’s OK, you can still practice abstinence.

Teenage pregnancies are a fact of life here in the Black Belt. There’s too many of them. That’s the reason for local leaders like District Judge Bob Armstrong take action as they counsel our juveniles.

Now, we’re watching what some families deal with unfold very publicly on the national stage as the presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, and her family deal with the pregnancy of one of her teenage children.

The lessons here are numerous.

No matter what a parent says or does, children do not always listen or pay attention. Sometimes, children make mistakes and must live with them. This does not have any bearing on Palin’s morals or family values.

Indeed, this is a very painful and private moment for the Palins. The actions of a 17-year-old has nothing to do with Palin’s ability to act as vice president of the U.S. The actions of Palin’s daughter have no connection to the national political scene.

Those who would make political points of this for the other side have stooped to the lowest common denominator of dirty tricks.

On the other side, this is an object less for parents to use: Nobody is immune.

The best way not to become pregnant is through abstinence.