By John Jalsevac

DAYTON, OH, August 29, 2008 ( – In an unexpected development that has social conservatives cheering, John McCain announced his choice of dark horse Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Governor Palin, the first woman elected as Alaska’s governor, is well-known for her strong and public stance on life and family issues. Palin, a Christian, is a long time member of Feminists for Life and a mother of five children.

The choice of the extremely popular 44-year-old governor and former beauty queen for VP came as a shock to most, as attention had in recent days largely been concentrated on more prominent prospects such as Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee helping pro-life women gain election to Congress, enthusiastically welcomed McCain’s choice. “Sarah Palin is the whole package,” she said. “There couldn’t be a better vice presidential pick.”

“Women voters are electrified, and Sarah is someone who is truly in sync with the way real American women think.  She is a reform-minded woman who will give all Americans, born and unborn, the authentic leadership they deserve….By choosing the boldly pro-life Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has taken his stand as the one true, authentic pro-life ticket.”

Palin proved her pro-life credentials in a powerful way earlier this year when she gave birth to her fifth child, born with Down syndrome, despite receiving pressure from doctors to abort. At a time when a vast majority of Down syndrome children are aborted, Palin vociferously defended her choice to bring her son Trig to term.

“Trig is beautiful and already adored by us,” said Palin on the day after her son’s birth. “We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.”

In November of last year LifeSiteNews reported that Palin had lambasted a decision by the Alaskan Supreme Court that permitted under age girls to obtain abortions without parental consent. Palin called the decision “outrageous” and instructed Attorney General Talis Colberg to file a petition for a rehearing.

Palin is opposed to same-sex “marriage,” though she has said in the past that she has homosexual friends and shares their concerns about discrimination. However, she also said she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexuals. “I believe that honoring the family structure is that important,” she said in 2006.

See related coverage:

Alaska Gov. Palin Suggests Special Session for Failed Abortion Restriction Laws

Alaska and Florida Courts Allow Under Age Girls to Abort Without Parents’ Knowledge or Consent