In which I actually address a political rumor

A few days late, but I spent the first days of this week read­ing about some dis­crep­an­cies in Sarah Pal­in’s recent preg­nan­cy. Sum­ma­ry: some peo­ple think the child is actu­al­ly her daugh­ter’s (and that her daugh­ter’s cur­rent preg­nan­cy is a cov­er-up).

iRe­port had an arti­cle, but Kar­i­on’s arti­cle was more inter­est­ing (i.e. more sources), and it’s his I want to address here. After ask­ing my labor-and-deliv­ery-nurse mom about some of the details, she had a few cor­rec­tions:


Three days [after birth], [she] announces (at work) that the baby has Down’s syn­drome, that she has known that since ear­ly in the preg­nan­cy. Why would a staunch­ly pro-life woman, who oppos­es legal abor­tions for rape and incest vic­tims, screen for birth defects when there is ABSOLUTELY no chance that she would have an abor­tion?

Because it’s not about “find­ing out if the baby is retard­ed so we can abort”. My mom:

“From a med­ical stand­point ANY woman 35 and old­er has the option to be test­ed for any chro­mo­so­mal abnor­mal­i­ties because of the increased risk for prob­lems.  A woman can be pro-life and still test, just because she wants to know!”

I know that care for the moth­er and fetus can change sig­nif­i­cant­ly if there are any prob­lems, so it’s more of a mat­ter of ensur­ing the well-being of both.


Before giv­ing a speech in Texas on April 17, 2008, while she was eight months’ preg­nant, she starts hav­ing con­trac­tions and leak­ing amni­ot­ic flu­id.

[The next morn­ing], some­one alleged­ly induces labor. If the leak­ing amni­ot­ic flu­id wasn’t a con­cern enough to address for 18+ hours, let alone pre­clude approval for flight trav­el (the air pres­sure aggra­vates the dan­gers of infec­tion and fur­ther irri­ta­tion of the leak), and she wasn’t actu­al­ly in labor when she arrived, why induce a pre­ma­ture birth of a baby with Down’s?

Because it has noth­ing to do with the air pres­sure. My mom:

The oth­er clin­i­cal igno­rance he has is that at “8mos.” that could mean 36 wks or 32 wks depend­ing on how a lay per­son is look­ing at the cal­en­dar.  Gen­er­al­ly, in the ob world if a preg­nan­cy has rup­tured mem­branes at 34 wks + for over 12 hrs with­out labor, you induce so that infec­tion does not set in.  The baby has pret­ty good chance of sur­vival at that point, the risk of infec­tion would be greater.  They also often give an injec­tion to the mom which can help mature the baby’s lungs.

So the mere fact that she was leak­ing for over 12 hours would make them like­ly to induce. The whole time­line makes me think that the amni­ot­ic flu­id would have been a con­cern, except that she (for some rea­son) ran away from care for that long.

I respect that this is just a big rumor, but it does have some inter­est­ing details, and I’m curi­ous to see how every­thing will play out.

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