Presidential candidate Lech Walesa has told his first campaign rally that he opposes abortion and attacked the anti-Semitism that has tainted politics in his overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation.

At the rally Monday, the Solidarity chairman also stressed that no alternative exists to the painful "shock" economic reforms now pinching the Polish people.Walesa, 47, said it was too early to present his program but he took questions for 45 minutes from the crowd of 5,000 assembled in a cold, windswept market square of the northern-central city of Torun.

Walesa also said he supported a controversial ban on abortion approved by one house of Parliament on Saturday. "You know that I am a practicing Catholic, and my opinion here cannot be different from that of the church," he said.