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Palin talks abortion and homosexuality with Couric

The second part of Katie Couric's interview this week on the campaign with Sarah Palin covered the Republican vice presidential candidate's thoughts on homosexuality, feminism, abortion, evolution, global warming and Joe Biden's age.

Most of the answers involved considerable tap dancing by Palin while Couric steadfastly used follow-up questions to try and get straightforward answers.

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Representative of the conversation was Palin's response when Couric asked her a hypothetical question aimed at getting her views on abortion: "If a 15-year-old girl is raped by her father," Couric asked, "do you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion -- and why?"

"I am pro-life," Palin said. "And I am unapologetic in my position that I am pro-life. ...Now I would counsel to choose life...."

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"But ideally," Couric persisted, "you think it should be illegal for a girl who was raped or the victim of incest to get an abortion?"

"I'm saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in. ..."

But then she added that she wouldn't want to see anyone sent to jail for having an abortion.

Couric had to ask three times before Palin gave anything approaching a straight answer on whether she condones or condemns the use of the morning-after pill.

"Personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception," Palin finally said.

When asked if she considered herself a feminist, Palin said, "I do. I'm a feminist who, uh, believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly have every opportunity that a man has to succeed, and to try and do it all, anyway."

Palin herself brought up the issue of homosexuality as part of a discussion about what kind of church she belongs to in Alaska. She told Couric she belongs to no church but attends several. She tried to knock down published reports that one of them, the Wasilla Bible Church, held a conference which included gays attempting to be made straight through prayer.

"But what you're talking about, I think, (is) my position on homosexuality and (whether) you can pray it away," Palin said. "And you know, I don't know what prayers are worthy of being prayed.... But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my 'gay friend,' she is one of my best friends who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice I would have made. But I am not going to judge people."

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And here's the segment that will probably have Palin supporters complaining about "gotcha journalism" again.

Couric showed a clip of Palin on the campaign trail getting a laugh at the expense of her opponent Joe Biden's age -- 65.

"You have a 72-year-old running mate, is that kind of a risky thing to say, insinuating that Joe Biden's been around for a while," Couric asked.

"Oh no, it's nothing negative at all," Palin responded. "He's got a lot of experience and (I'm) just stating the fact there. ...I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas, and he's got the experience based on many, many years in the Senate ..."

(Photo of Couric and Palin in Ohio courtesy of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric)


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