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Anti-Abortion Activist Calls for Burning Effigies of Pelosi, Reid

Randall Terry, the anti-abortion rights activist and Operation Rescue founder, believes it's time to "start drawing from our proud American tradition of burning people in effigy."

And he's starting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Terry wants like-minded individuals to burn effigies of the two Congressional Democratic leaders on Halloween to protest health care legislation that he suggests will make Americans pay for "child killing."

"No, this is not a threat to their body," a man (not Terry) says in an introductory video, which you can see here. "But it is a threat to their soul." (Above is a shorter preview video featuring the same man.)

In the introductory video, people are told to order a large printout of Reid and Pelosi from a local office supply store, along with images of a devil, and purchase cardboard to tape or paste them to. They are also instructed to call local media to publicize the protest and check local ordinances about open flames.

A woman is then shown pouring lighter fluid onto the cutouts of Reid and Pelosi, along with the devil images, and setting them on fire.

The protest, Terry writes on his web site, represents a "prophetic witness of what awaits [Reid and Pelosi] then they die if they don't repent." (At left is a 2005 photo of Terry speaking to the media outside the hospital where Terri Schiavo was a patient.)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters the protest is "unfortunate," the Associated Press reports.

"I don't think appealing to people's anger and in effect inciting them to acts which either display or in any way project violent acts is consistent with rational discussion of very critical issues," he said.

The Washington Independent's David Weigel, who flagged the videos Monday, wrote that "the decision to use the leaders of the House and Senate, instead of the African-American president, seems like a wise one."

The Hyde amendment, passed in 1976, bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest and when a mother's life is in danger. States seeking to cover abortions for women who cannot pay for them must thus use state funds, since they cannot turn to Medicaid.

The current health care bill, the AP reports, "would create a new stream of federal funds not covered by the restrictions."

Democrats in the House have said people who get subsidies from the government to buy health insurance will not be permitted to use taxpayer money to pay for an abortion.

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