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OPPONENTS OF ABORTION REMAIN STEADFAST

SHARE OPPONENTS OF ABORTION REMAIN STEADFAST

Henry Felisone says the three FBI agents who came to his door were brief and polite.

"They asked me about Paul Hill, and I told them I didn't know anything," says the New York City electronics technician-turned-preacher.Hill is the fervent abortion opponent accused in last month's slayings of Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort outside a Pensacola, Fla., abortion clinic.

Felisone is among 30 anti-abortion activists who signed a petition Hill had circulated, starkly declaring deadly force justified in defense of the unborn.

Not surprisingly, the signers are now the targets of an FBI inquiry, a congressional hearing set for next week and the vilification of abortion foes and supporters alike. Yet they remain steadfast and mostly unrepentant.

"My feelings haven't changed one bit," said Donald Spitz, a longtime abortion opponent.

"I believe if an abortionist walking into the abortion mill to kill babies is killed by force, it's justifiable homicide," Spitz said.

The statement Hill passed around and mailed out over several months said, in part: "We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child."

It further stated that the first shooting death of an abortionist, that of Dr. David Gunn in March 1993, also in Pensacola, was "justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children."

"I've been telling people it's a statement of belief rather than an endorsement," said Michael Dodds, a Wichita, Kan., activist. "I would never consider doing anything like that myself."