For the last few days, we've seen a fair number of comments which suggest that, given the evidence that Sarah may not be Trig's mother combined with Levi Johnston's statement that Bristol is due on December 18th (which would preclude HER giving birth to Trig), someone else must be the mother. The Palin's second daughter, Willow, has been mentioned.
What are the facts here? As I was trying to do a bit of research this morning, the first thing I tried to track down is just how old Willow Palin is, and surprisingly I had some trouble. Numerous places list her birthdate as: 1/21/94. This would make her currently 14 years old, turning fifteen in January. However, many other places, including Wikipedia, USAToday, and Zimbio claim that she was born in 1995. In addition, the official State of Alaska press release at the time of Trig's birth states that she was 13 at that time. If she'd really been born on 1/21/94 she would have been 14 already last April.
However, let's assume for the sake of this question that she was born on 1/21/94. She would have been 14 last April, and 13 at the time of any conception. Do 13 year old girls get pregnant? Certainly they do. But what evidence, other than speculation, do we have that this thirteen year old got pregnant in summer 2007 and gave birth in April 2008?
I can find none.
First, we KNOW that rumors existed that Bristol was pregnant.
Second, in Alaska, compulsory education laws require that young people attend school through age 17. Bristol turned 17 on 10/18/07, meaning that at any point after that date she could leave school, no questions asked. This is frankly one of the reasons I think we are having trouble tracking down info about Bristol - because she was not required to be in school. The same would not have applied to Willow. At 13, her parents could not have simply kept her out of school, even if her mother were the governor.
Third, we have Wasilla caterer Sue William's statements that it was Willow's eighth grade boyfriend that would not shut his mouth that Bristol was pregnant in April. As we've said earlier, Sue Williams, while having some pretty significant misgivings about Gov. Palin, initially stated in her posts that she believed that Sarah WAS the mother of Trig, and she was arguing that Bristol was pregnant last April already with her current pregnancy. That's not the issue of this post, but I mention it only to make the point that it rings true to me - that Willow's boyfriend really was saying these things. It is a very specific (and uncalled for) piece of info and would be an odd thing to fabricate. Remember, Sue Williams posted this BEFORE the McCain campaign announced that Bristol was pregnant. I can think of no reason for Sue Williams to make this up. Furthermore, she doesn't just say "boyfriend," she says "eighth grade boyfriend," indicated that Willow was in school. Willow's boyfriend is hardly going to be walking around Wasilla blabbing that Bristol is pregnant if it's really his little friend who is 6-7 months along.
Sixteen - seventeen year old girls get pregnant. It happens all the time, and most people are willing to simply accept it and move on with not much more than a shrug and a sigh. I wouldn't give a rat's rump if Bristol had had a baby last spring. The reason I have an issue with it is my perception that her mother may have lied about it and politicized it in numerous different ways. But in a small town, people are not going to accept a thirteen year old getting pregnant with the same level of tolerance. Since this is below the age of consent in Alaska (16) I doubt if even the governor could have totally circumvented some sort of legal intrusion.
So to summarize:
Willow would have been terribly young at the time of conception. While some information indicates she would have been 13, other data indicates she would have been 12.
No rumors exist anywhere that this was true. For a 16 year old young woman to get pregnant, most people shrug and say... these things happen. People are not going to be nearly so tolerant when the same thing happens to a 13 year old. They will talk.
Compulsory education laws would have made her disappearance from school far harder to manage.
We have one first hand, and I believe credible report, that a school "boyfriend" of Willow's was telling people that Bristol was pregnant during the exact time period we are interested in.
Age of consent laws in Alaska would have made legal scrutiny much more difficult to avoid.
I have tried very hard to allow posters pretty much free rein on this site, and I intend to continue to do so. But I also encourage everyone to remember that Willow, Piper and of course, Trig, are minor children who have not asked for any of this. (Bristol turns 18 in three days.) I have tried very hard to be sensitive to the children. I would ask that my readers do the same.
Update: Here is a video of Sarah Palin right after Todd won is first Iron Dog snowmobile (sorry, snow machine) race in 1995. She's holding a toddler who has to be a one year old Willow. This proves, I'd say, that the 1994 birth date is correct, and places that have Willow listed as being born in 1995 are incorrect.
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