Perriello, a social justice, pro-life Democrat, made headlines in fall 2008 when he won a Virginia seat dominated by Republicans. He is extremely vulnerable for this fall (think of him as the Democratic version of Louisiana's GOP freshman, Anh "Joseph" Cao) but today indicated he might support the Senate bill. Most important, he said the Senate's abortion funding provisions were as solid as those in the House bill, which he had previously backed.My take at PoliticsDaily is here. Below are key grafs from his statement:

"As health care experts and pro-life leaders agree, the abortion language in the Senate bill upholds the Hyde Amendment standard. The Senate health care bill prevents federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, as the Catholic Hospital Association and legal experts have recently stated and as my own research has confirmed.""Furthermore, several key yet unadvertised provisions of the bill are likely to reduce the number of abortions in this country in ways that move beyond politics toward a real impact on the culture of life in our country, such as those that provide $250 million for programs to support vulnerable pregnant women and increase the adoption tax credit, also making it refundable, so that lower income families can access it fully...""..."I have plenty of serious problems with the Senate bill and, until I see the final language, I cannot take a position on final passage. But the existing language on abortion in the current Senate bill meets the pledge I made to ensure no federal funding for abortion in this health care bill."

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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