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m6307 BC-MN-AbortionOpponents 09-02 0420

Palin pick puts abortion foes at ease

By BRIAN BAKST

Associated Press Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A prominent abortion opponent who was arrested at the Democratic convention in Denver is taking a softer line at the Republican National Convention, praising the addition of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket and calling on Roman Catholic bishops to speak out against Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, was among a handful of abortion foes who gathered Tuesday on the steps of the St. Paul cathedral. They held up a banner depicting Obama, a bloodied fetus and a message that a vote for him would enable more abortions.

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Terry and his followers said they had no plans to stage demonstrations in St. Paul that would get them arrested, as more than a dozen of his followers were in Denver last week.

"The pick of Governor Palin has re-energized the pro-life movement," Terry said. "The pro-life movement gets to be born again."

Rather than disrupt the convention, group members said they will spend their time this week distributing anti-Obama brochures to Catholic parishioners. Terry said bishops and other clergy have a duty to tell their flocks not to vote for Obama, although he said he hadn’t formally decided whom he would support for president and is considering a pro-life third party candidate.

Terry said Palin’s nomination to be vice president has him leaning toward supporting Republican John McCain. He downplayed Monday’s revelation that Palin’s unwed teen daughter was pregnant. "Children are a blessing," he said.

A few passersby heckled group members and said Republicans aren’t doing enough to support the needs of children.

"I don’t agree that a vote for Obama is a vote for dead children," said Jon Matel, 28, of Bayport, Minn. "It’s more complicated than that."

Matel, a Catholic and self-described Democrat, added, "It’s not my place to judge. That’s for God."

Terry said Operation Rescue is coordinating sit-ins at Obama campaign headquarters in swing states in late September and are willing to be arrested for their cause.

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On the Net:

Operation Rescue: http://www.operationrescue.org/

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