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Palin criticizes Obama, Fla. gov on abortion

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[August 27, 2010]  JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Sarah Palin called President Barack Obama the most pro-abortion president ever Thursday and mocked Florida's governor for claiming to be pro-life after vetoing a bill that would have required women to get ultrasounds before having the procedure.

In a speech that only ventured into politics on abortion issues, Palin criticized Obama's health care overhaul as a plan that will lead to more abortions.

"The biggest advance of the abortion industry in America is the passage of Obamacare," Palin said. "Elective abortions have nothing to do with health care. It's about ending lives, not saving lives."

The former Alaska governor and Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate in 2008 also drew boos and laughter when she talked about Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party and is now running for Senate as an independent.

"Unfortunately your Republican governor," Palin began before pausing. "I don't know if he wants to be one or is a Republican anymore."

After the crowd booed, she continued.

"Your governor, he decided to veto this pro-life bill," she said before drawing laughs by sarcastically pointing out that Crist still calls himself pro-life. "He forgot that when to comes protecting the sanctity of life actions speak louder than words."

Crist didn't immediately return a message left on his cell phone seeking comment.

Palin spoke to a crowd of about 500 at a fundraiser for Heroic Media, a group that uses billboards, television ads and the internet to try direct women to crisis pregnancy centers instead of opting for abortions. The event raised about $50,000.

Other than attacking Crist and Obama and urging the crowd to pick congressional candidates that will seek to overturn the health care plan, she kept her remarks to the issue of preventing abortions. She touched on personal subjects, like her doubt in God when an ultrasound showed her son, Trig, would be born with Down syndrome and when her daughter Bristol told Palin and her husband, Todd, that she was pregnant.

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She told the crowd that before learning about Trig, she often told people "God will never give you anything you can't handle."

Her thought after the ultrasound: "God, I think you've overestimated us this time."

"How in the world is this going to work? Does God really know what he's doing?" she said.

She said she cried out for a miracle and her prayer was answered when her son was born.

"God does know what he's doing," she said.

When her then-17-year-old daughter announced she was pregnant, she said she wasn't pleased. But neither experience made her rethink her anti-abortion stance.

"What Bristol and I have been through has not changed my opinion, but it has changed my perspective," she said. "I understand what goes through a woman's mind when she is presented with less-than-perfect circumstances."

[Associated Press; By BRENDAN FARRINGTON]

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

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