[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/09/01/palin.evangelicals/art.palin.evan.jpg caption="Evangelicals rallied around Palin Monday."]ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Key evangelical leaders rallied to Sarah Palin's support Monday amid news that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was having a child.
"Before, they were excited about her, with the Down syndrome baby," conservative, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said. "But now with this, they are over the moon. It reinforces the fact that this family lives its pro-life values."
Palin and John McCain oppose abortion and have supported promoting abstinence in schools - which would seem to make Bristol Palin's pregnancy an inconveniently timed development.
But she is keeping the child, a fact that could make the Alaska governor - whose candidacy has been enthusiastically embraced by evangelicals who regard her as one of their own - even more popular among that key GOP voting bloc.
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"Fortunately, Bristol is following her mother and father's example of choosing life in the midst of a difficult situation," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said. "We are committed to praying for Bristol and her husband-to-be and the entire Palin family as they walk through a very private matter in the eyes of the public."