No, I don't think it's anyone's business that Bristol Palin is pregnant. As a formerly pregnant teenager who made a different choice, I don't think she should be shamed.
Still, I can't help noticing how markedly diferent the rhetoric/coverage surrounding her pregnancy is when compared to young women of color--particularly the reactions from conservatives and evangelicals. To sum it up:
"When the subject is a pregnancy to an unwed, minority teenage mother growing up in some (presumably Democratic) urban area, that pregnancy becomes fodder for lectures from conservatives about bad parenting, the perils of welfare spending and so on. But when the subject is a pregnancy to an unwed, white teenager from some small town in a Republican state, that pregnancy is...a celebration of the wonders of God's magnificence--and choosing life!" ― Thomas SchallerVia Prof Tracey. (I'm assuming that works in the same way that it's "endearing" that Palin is a mother of five but a poor woman would be treated scornfully for the same?)
At the back of my mind, since I read about this, I've been thinking what if Malia or Sasha Obama was older and pregnant? Can you imagine the tropes that would be trotted out? The "See, I told you sos?" The condemnation--not only of the Obamas, but of African Americans in general--from the very people who are closing ranks around Bristol Palin? I do not think it is an invasion of the Palin privacy to say, yes, those people are hypocrites.
What it comes down to, again, is reproductive freeedom. You see, not only does Bristol Palin have the right, in a legal sense, to choose to continue this pregnancy, she also has a "cultural right" to be a mother. What do I mean? She's a white woman, part of a group whose role as mother is encouraged and rewarded. Not so for women of color who are questioned as mothers, as I noted a year-and-a-half ago when talking about children who were ripped away from their mothers because of ICE raids:
A discourse has developed in this country to support stealing our children away from us that attacks us as immoral, "illegal," or uneducated. I see this raid on a historical continuum with black children sold away from their mothers and Native children forced into "Indian schools" so they could be "properly" Christianized and Americanized. In fact, Americanizers of the late 19th/early 20th century spent inordinate amounts of time threatening to take immigrant children from their parents, telling immigrant mothers how their methods of child-rearing were substandard to those of more WASP-y Americans, probably as much time as 20th century welfare critics spent convincing themselves that poor black women did not really love or want their children--they only had them to get more out of the system--and as much time as 21st century anti-immigration proponents spend convincing themselves that Latinas don't really love or want their children--they just want anchor babies.Bristol Palin's future mothering is not as worrisome to us as that of the girls whom we are taught to think of as typical teen mothers.
At the same time all these theories hurt our children, they hurt us, too. They justify the exploitation of our labor--it's okay if we work long hours in dangerous jobs; our children don't really need us. They justify the exploitation of our bodies--after all we're manipulative women not above using them for material gain. They justify the continual denial of the most basic rights to us.
To be fair, some conservatives have at least admitted the problem, in their eyes, isn't wholly teenage pregnancy, but unwed motherhood. I guess marriage to (typically) another teenager magically eradicates all the potential problems associated with the pregnancy itself not to mention the poverty that often comes afterward. So perhaps the Palin's carefully tacked on "and will marry the baby's father" changes how news of Bristol's pregnancy is being received, as well. (I swear, I want to tell some people, we can add and subtract; we're still going to know if people had sex/got pregnant before marriage).
Btw, I'm sorry, Sarah Palin can't have it both ways. Her daughter's pregnancy can't simultaneously be "no reflection on her" and proof that she (Sarah Palin) "walks the talk." It is Bristol Palin who's "walking the talk."