September 5, 2008
(RNS) -- Evangelical leaders say the announcement that GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant will not diminish their support for her candidacy.
Palin, a first-term governor of Alaska, issued a statement with her husband, Todd, saying that they are proud of their daughter Bristol's "decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents."
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued a statement within hours of the Monday (Sept. 1) announcement, congratulating the Palins for choosing to continue the pregnancy of a 17-year-old.
"They should be commended once again for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances," he said.
Evangelical leaders have previously praised the governor for choosing to give birth to her fifth child, Trig, despite his diagnosis with Down syndrome.
Asked Tuesday if the family's announcement would dampen evangelicals' general support for McCain's vice presidential pick, Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law, said "absolutely not."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the governor's daughter is "following her mother and father's example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation."
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