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Video: Bristol Palin says being a teen mom is ‘difficult’

  1. Transcript of: Bristol Palin says being a teen mom is ‘difficult’

    NATALIE MORALES reporting: With nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies each year, the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world . But one national organization wants to lower those numbers with the help of a familiar teen mom. Bristol Palin has teamed up with the Candie's Foundation as part of a new public service campaign aimed at preventing teen pregnancy . Bristol Palin is here with Neil Cole , the founder of the Candie's Foundation . Good morning to you both. Great to have you here.

    Ms. BRISTOL PALIN (The Candie's Foundation): Thanks for having us here.

    Mr. NEIL COLE (Founder, The Candie's Foundation): Hi. Thanks for having us.

    MORALES: And this is actually your second year being a part of this campaign. Why is the message so important to you?

    Ms. PALIN: It's so important to me because I'm living it, and I just want to help educate others and use Candie's Foundation as the platform and just do that.

    MORALES: And I know you're loving being a mom. We were talking about you now have 15-month-old Tripp .

    Ms. PALIN: Yes.

    MORALES: Just an absolutely gorgeous little boy . You were telling Matt that he said his first sentence. What was that?

    Ms. PALIN: I asked where my little sister was and he just said, `I don't know.' Just completely clear.

    MORALES: Wow. He blows my 18-month-old. He's not speaking in sentences yet. But you talk about the realities of being a teen mom and a single parent . How is that for you?

    Ms. PALIN: It's extremely difficult. I mean, I am his sole provider and it's very difficult. And I think that by me speaking out that it will help others and it will put like a real factor to teen pregnancy .

    MORALES: Mm-hmm. What have you had to give up personally in your life to be a mom?

    Ms. PALIN: Oh, I don't even know where to begin. Pretty much everything. Lots of freedom and things like that, just because he does rely on me.

    MORALES: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. But knowing what you know now, being a mom, you -- would you do anything differently?

    Ms. PALIN: I mean, I wish I could be older and have him just so that I have a career lined up and be in a stable relationship and stuff like that .

    MORALES: Mm-hmm. And this is not an abstinence campaign, important to point out. But yet you do have a strong point of view on abstinence before marriage.

    Ms. PALIN: Yeah, correct. Just for me personally, that's just the decision that I'm going to make. But what we're trying to do is just educate teens , and that's what's important to us right now.

    MORALES: Mm-hmm. And Neil , as we mentioned, 750,000 teens become pregnant every year. I mean, the statistics are staggering. And you're seeing these reality TV shows on MTV which are dealing with this as well and trying to put a spotlight on these young moms and what they're having to deal with. How difficult is it for teens and what do they give up, the sacrifices that they're making?

    Mr. COLE: Well, it's incredibly difficult for teens . And, you know, you can look at the teenager, but it's also look at the baby and what happens with the baby after he's born. You know, the statistics are staggering as far as, you know, everything that happens with all stages of the generation. But to your point about the media, the media plays such an important role.

    MORALES: Yeah.

    Mr. COLE: We just did a study with Seventeen magazine and the Candie's Foundation . And we found out that teenagers are incredibly influenced by shows like " Gossip Girl " and "Jersey Show."

    MORALES: Right.

    Mr. COLE: So we need to have PSAs and we need to have what MTV 's doing with "16 and Pregnant" to do the other side, to show teens it's not glamorous.

    MORALES: Right. It's a hardship in a lot of ways.

    Mr. COLE: It's incredibly difficult and it -- and it totally changes your life and makes it so you can't have all the wonderful things that happen as a teenager. And you can be great mother and just -- you have to wait.

    MORALES: And the role that parents play, so important. Bristol , do you remember having that conversation with your parents about sex?

    Ms. PALIN: Yes, definitely. And, you know, there's just so much to be said about that. I just think that PSAs like this are just going to open up more dialogue to be talking about that.

    MORALES: Mm-hmm. Yeah, we hope so, definitely. And Neil , I mean, the message that teens certainly are getting, as you said, the media, you know, the influence, but when it comes to having that dialogue with parents what more can we do besides explaining to them, you know, what you need to be doing?

    Mr. COLE: Well, having two teenage boys...

    MORALES: Yeah.

    Mr. COLE: ...I know how difficult it is to talk to teenagers. So what we try to do is talk to them through entertaining them with wonderful celebrities and public figures like Bristol . And we've done past work with hundreds of celebrities. So we try to educate them and talk on a peer-to-peer basis rather than preaching to them and telling them, `Don't have sex.' We try to make them aware of the consequences and try to do it in an innovative way at the Candie's Foundation .

    MORALES: Mm-hmm. And Bristol , I know you say you count yourself very lucky because you have a very supportive family. So not a lot of teens can say the same, though.

    Ms. PALIN: Yeah. Yeah, correct. And I think that's what this PSA is all about, too.

    MORALES: Is having your parents really help support you in every way.

    Ms. PALIN: Yeah.

    MORALES: Thank you so much . Bristol Palin , Neil Cole , great to see you.

updated 4/7/2010 5:59:04 PM ET 2010-04-07T21:59:04

Bristol Palin says that if girls knew how tough it was to be a mom, they'd think twice about having sex.

The 19-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she has chosen to practice abstinence herself, until marriage.

Bristol Palin, who once said it was unrealistic to ask young people to abstain from sex, said in an interview with The Associated Press that it's realistic for her personally.

"I know it's realistic to ask myself that, because I know I'm not going to until I'm married," she said.

Palin gave birth to a son, Tripp, in December 2008 and says she "wasn't prepared at all" for the dramatic changes in her life since then.

"I don't think anyone realizes how difficult it really is until you actually have a screaming baby in your arms and you're up all night," said Palin.

"It changes literally every aspect of your life, and if girls realized how hard it was to be a teen mom, they would think twice about having sex without the proper education and proper knowledge."

Birth rates for teen mothers dropped 2 percent in 2008 after an increase from 2005 to 2007 according to a numbers released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Palin hopes to help the decline continue by educating her peers. Last year, she was named an ambassador for The Candie's Foundation, a division of the apparel brand Candie's, which has been raising awareness about teen pregnancy since 2001. She'll appear in a new public service announcement called "Pause Before You Play."

Neil Cole, founder of The Candie's Foundation, says it was a no-brainer to tap Palin to help bring awareness to the problem of teen pregnancy: "Bristol comes from a high-profile family and it's amazing the amount of coverage she has gotten because of this issue."

Video: Bristol Palin: ‘Learn from my example’ Palin also recently taped a cameo on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," about a high school student who unexpectedly got pregnant and is now a young mom.

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In the interview, Palin said she works full-time and takes night classes when she can. Sleeping in and hanging out with friends like other teens? Such downtime is a thing of the past.

She credits her family for helping her get through.

"I'm very blessed to have an extremely supportive family and just a good support system, which other girls out there — most of them — don't have," she said.

Despite the challenges of being a teen mom, Palin hopes to have more kids.

"Eventually," she said. "Long down the road, though."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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