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Anti-abortion activist hired for NC health job

RALEIGH, N.C. -

(AP) - An anti-abortion activist has been hired as a senior policy adviser at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the latest in a string of politically charged hiring decisions made at the embattled state agency.

Margaret "Mardy" Peal began work last month at an annual salary of $95,000.

Records show Peal recently served on the board of the anti-abortion Carolina Pregnancy Center, a group that emphasizes Christian scripture and encourages abstinence. She was also an early organizer for the conservative Eastern North Carolina Tea Party and gave $1,250 to the 2012 campaign of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

The 42-year-old Peal holds a master's degree in health education from East Carolina University, where she worked as a lecturer for three years in the 1990s before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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