Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told an antiabortion audience in Indiana on Thursday night that, "for a fleeting moment," she considered having an abortion after learning that her son Trig would have Down syndrome.
The experience, she added, "now lets me understand a woman's, a girl's, temptation to maybe make it all go away."
Ultimately, Palin said, she decided she had to "walk the walk" concerning her long-standing antiabortion views. She avoided using the word "abortion" in her speech, preferring the phrase "change the circumstances."
"I had just enough faith to know that my trying to change the circumstances wasn't any answer," said Palin, the featured speaker before 3,000 people at a banquet in Evansville.
As the Republican Party's vice presidential candidate last year, Palin said little about her son's condition or the circumstances surrounding his birth. The night before the election, Palin's campaign released a letter from her physician that gave information about Trig's diagnosis. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson wrote that Palin learned in the second trimester that he had Down syndrome.
Palin revealed more Thursday night, saying she was traveling when she got the result of the amniocentesis that revealed the chromosomal abnormality.
"There, just for a fleeting moment, I thought, I knew, 'Nobody knows me here. Nobody would ever know.' "
Palin has long been a staunch supporter of abortion restrictions, and she pointed to her own "moment of doubt" to illustrate her support for carrying pregnancies to term, regardless of the circumstances.
She prayed during her pregnancy for the strength and compassion to love a baby with an extra chromosome, she said at the dinner hosted by Vanderburgh County Right to Life, her first major public appearance this year. "The moment he was born, I knew for sure that my prayer was answered."