Tom Perriello’s question of conscience
by Steve Lopez

In 2008 Congressman Tom Perriello was interviewed by 1070 WINA talkshow host Rob Schilling in the run up to his Congressional race against incumbent Virgil Goode. In that interview Mr. Perriello made several statements that outlined his political philosophy. In particular Congressman Perriello focused on the question of conscience.

However, before we delve into the specifics of Congressman Perriello’s thoughts on the topic of conscience it might be useful to define the term so that we’re all on the same page. Webster’s dictionary defines conscience as, “The sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.”

So when we talk about “conscience” we’re talking about a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. An obligation to do right and be good sounds like a noble goal, even if it is a politician bringing up the subject. So armed with that information let’s take a closer look at the actual importance Congressman Tom Perriello places on his own conscience.

There are a lot of hot button issues where conscience plays a pivotal role and there is probably no issue more central to that discussion than abortion. When asked whether he would ban abortion, Mr. Perriello stated that he was personally against abortion but that, “We have different questions of conscience and constitutionality.”

Mr. Perriello is an attorney and invokes legal speak that might not be clear to those who have not had Constitutional Law. So how exactly is our conscience separate and distinct from questions relating to constitutionality (i.e., codified law)? Let me be more specific and reference the very document he cites, how is the 13th amendment to our Constitution, which made slavery illegal after a bloody and costly Civil War, separate and distinct from individual conscience which told the plantation owners in the South that slavery was fine and the abolitionists in the North that it wasn’t? In other words, how are we able to navigate the issue of slavery using Congressman Perrellio’s political philosophy of separating our conscience from the law?

If the combatants never deferred to their conscience it’s unlikely there would have been a Civil War or the resulting constitutional amendment, but that still doesn’t tell us whether Congressman Perriello would follow his own advice.

Fortunately Congressman Perriello reiterated how this philosophy plays out in his own politics when Rob Schilling asked him to state his position on abortion:

“I’m against abortion but I’m not for overturning Roe vs. Wade… I’m anti-abortion and anti-criminalization.” – Tom Perriello

In this example we see firsthand how Congressman Perriello is able to separate his own conscience “abortion is wrong” from the law “abortion is legal”,  fair enough, but is that really the principle by which he lives his life or is it empty political rhetoric cleverly employed to avoid being honest with voters about how he really feels about abortion?

After all, the same flawed logic could allow a politician to say he is against rape and slavery, but never support efforts to ban it or in the words of Congressman Perriello ‘criminalize it’. Congressman Perriello removed all doubt when he answered another question posed by Rob Schilling, “What does it mean to be a Democrat and why are you a Democrat?”

Congressman Perriello’s response was quite surprising.

“For me it’s not about party it’s about my conscience and my ideas…” Later he states, “At the end of the day I’m going to be representing the voters and answering to my conscience.”

Wait a minute! I thought his conscience was irrelevant?  Separating his conscience from the law was how Perriello justified his conscience telling him abortion was wrong and his simultaneous unwillingness to ban or restrict it, but when asked to explain what it means to be a Democrat his conscience is no longer irrelevant… it’s the main plank of his political platform!

Suddenly we’re being asked to get beyond political parties and confront the conscience and ideas of Tom Perriello. This isn’t a campaign manager making this bold statement, it’s the candidate himself.

Perhaps we should give him what he wants and make this a referendum on his conscience and the questionable judgment he displays in refusing to listen to it?

I can already hear the naysayers complaining that we’re being too hasty. Clearly, Tom Perriello is an intelligent man having attended one of the premiere boarding schools in the South as well as being a graduate of the Ivy League.  Even if he is unwilling to follow his own conscience when it comes to questions of right and wrong perhaps he still has some good ideas on how to solve the abortion crises?

In the interest of fairness we should hear him out.

Sadly, even here Congressman Perriello manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, “I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to prevent teenage pregnancy.” Any suggestions on who might have a few “ideas” on how to prevent teenage pregnancy and end abortion?

Hint: starts with an H and ends with a T. =-)

If Tom Perriello cannot follow HIS OWN conscience how can we trust him to lead or even begin to consider a higher law? He’s worse than someone with a strong opinion — he’s someone who doesn’t think his own conscience matters. If his own conscience is irrelevant then why does he pay lip service to faith in interviews, telling us that his faith is quote, “A faith tradition that very much emphasized putting faith into action.”

Faith into action?

If only Tom Perriello had the courage to follow his own conscience on issues such as abortion he would be a true leader who actually puts actions behind his faith and not a coward who hides behind judicial precedent to rationalize the murder of millions of innocent babies. The same tired logic was used to justify slavery and segregation.

So what’s the truth?

Congressman Perriello supports abortion but lacks the courage to be honest with voters because he wants to win at any cost — even if it means lying to his constituents and possibly himself. Virginians who believe that Americans are created equal with an unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should listen to their conscience and vote accordingly.

10 COMMENTS

  1. An excellent argument and disection of politician Perriello. This is also perfectly in keeping with the respons I received when I telephoned the then candidate’s office in an attempt to garner the clarification that he was unwilling to render on The Schilling Show. Obviously, he had and has his staff well trained in how to resond, for it was exacatly the same as referenced in the article above. Until the day, and it may never come again, when we can have people behave the same way on Monday thru Friday, as they do on Sunday, we will never again have a strong republic. If WE THE PEOPLE can not have individuals with the courage to act, not upon political power and prosperity, but upon those bedrock ideals that created this nation in the first place, what hopoe is there? If we can not trust our leaders, how can we trust our government? If we can not trust our government, how are we expected to obey it? These are perilous times. We are smelling the smoke from two fires, one of revolution and organized restructuring back to the foundational principles, and one of anarchy. It remains to be seen which one burns the brightest.

  2. Perriello nowhere said his conscience was irrelevant. He implied that in this case his conscience should not trump Roe vs. Wade. There are several plausible reason for this which Rob apparently never asked him about. He may feel individual women have the moral right to follow their own consciences concerning abortion. He may feel that overturning Roe vs. Wade would cause more harm than good, lessening respect for the rule of law as so many people would ignore the law banning abortion, and harming many young children as their mothers inadvertently harm or even kill themselves though self-induced abortions.

    Lopez accuses Perriello of wanting “to win at any cost,” and then accuses him of unspecified and undocumented lies. Of course it’s possible the first accusation has merit. But while I’m pro-life in word and deed, with my mouth and my money, I vote Democratic because I think that overall the Democrat officeholders do more harm and less good than Republicans. In addition to the reasons given above it’s possible that Tom, knowing that he probably couldn’t be elected as a pro-life Democrat, and knowing that there is little he could do in the House to successfully limit abortion, chooses his position because he honestly feels he can do more good as an elected, pro-choice Democrat, than as an un-elected pro-life one. In other words, it’s possible for a whole host of reasons that conscience is exactly why Perriello the politician isn’t pro-life.

    It’s unfortunate that Rob didn’t press him on just what his reasons are. Lopez doesn’t cite any given reasons either, but just jumps to the Religious Right’s favorite conclusion, that the other guy’s in sin.

    “I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to prevent teenage pregnancy.” Any suggestions on who might have a few “ideas” on how to prevent teenage pregnancy and end abortion?

    Hint: starts with an H and ends with a T. =-)

    The Hyde Amendment does nothing to prevent teen pregnancy.

  3. , I vote Democratic because I think that overall the Democrat officeholders do more harm and less good than Republicans.

    Obviously I transposed “harm” and “good” in that sentence, and meant that Democratic officeholders do less harm and more good that Republicans.

  4. This doesn’t seem very well thought out to me. If Perriello is, as you claim, not anti-abortion, then why did he support the Stupak amendment (which was controversial among Democrats and his base)?

    I personally agree with Perriello’s stance. Abortion is a terrible thing and we should find ways to cut down on it, but it’s silly to think that a Congressman would be able to overturn a judicial ruling (what with separation of powers, and all).

  5. “This doesn’t seem very well thought out to me. If Perriello is, as you claim, not anti-abortion, then why did he support the Stupak amendment (which was controversial among Democrats and his base)?” – Commonsense

    Thank you for your comment.

    The Stupak amendment sought to keep the status quo. And the status quo related to whether the federal government is directly paying for abortions and not whether it should be legal.

    It was not a referendum on the legality of abortion.

    For example, a politician could be 100% in favor of the right to bear arms but be against the federal government buying a 9 mm for every person who wants one. Similarly, a politician could be in favor of abortion but be against taxpayer dollars paying for it.

    Perriello is 100% in favor of abortion on demand but appears to have some qualms with tax dollars covering the procedure. We need to be careful that we’re not confusing federal dollars paying for abortion and abortion being legal and available on demand.

    On a sidenote, we know how it actually ended, a presidential executive order and not an amendment to the Senate’s bill.

    “I personally agree with Perriello’s stance. Abortion is a terrible thing and we should find ways to cut down on it, but it’s silly to think that a Congressman would be able to overturn a judicial ruling (what with separation of powers, and all).” – Commonsense

    That begs the question: how has Perriello cut down abortion in his two years in Congress? A lot of people give lip service to “cutting down” abortions and then provide no examples of how they achieved that lofty goal.

    He admits he has no idea on how to tackle the problem of teenage pregnancy — so I’m not holding my breath when it comes to his insights on how to cut down abortions, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to illustrate how he has put his political rhetoric from 2008 into practice and reduced abortions in his district.

    And why is it silly to assume a Congressman could overturn a judicial ruling? One of the functions of Congress is to amend the Constitution, and that is what they should have done if they really wanted to have abortion on demand, rather than allowing the judiciary to legislate from the bench.

    Perriello has a Yale law degree and he probably knows better than most that Roe vs. Wade is a one of the most poorly reasoned decisions in the history of the Supreme Court. There is no right to abortion in the Constitution and there isn’t even a right to privacy which they conveniently read into the Constitution.

    The decision is based on the unenumerated “penumbras, formed by emanations” from the Bill of Rights. The decision should make any modern politician smile, but not quite as widely as Perriello when he starts talking about the difference between conscience and constitutionality when it comes to abortion.

  6. “Perriello nowhere said his conscience was irrelevant. He implied that in this case his conscience should not trump Roe vs. Wade. There are several plausible reason for this which Rob apparently never asked him about. He may feel individual women have the moral right to follow their own consciences concerning abortion. He may feel that overturning Roe vs. Wade would cause more harm than good, lessening respect for the rule of law as so many people would ignore the law banning abortion, and harming many young children as their mothers inadvertently harm or even kill themselves though self-induced abortions.” – Ken

    Hello Ken, thanks for taking the time to respond.

    In my opinion what Tom Perriello wanted the listener to believe was that he was a student of the Constitution (he is an attorney) and that his conscience and constitutionality don’t always go hand-in-hand. Absent any context that sounds fine.

    Except we’re talking about Roe vs. Wade which makes it political satire. I would like Mr. Perriello to explain to the peanut gallery exactly how Roe vs. Wade is Constitutional on its face, since he appears particularly sensitive when it comes to his conscience and the Constitution.

    He couldn’t pick a weaker example upon which to hang his “conscience vs. constitutionality” hat on. Let’s not forget that Perriello is supposedly AGAINST abortion. He thinks it’s WRONG.

    It’s like someone being against rape and pedophilia but REFUSING to criminalize it. That doesn’t really mean that person is against rape or pedophilia, it just means that the person holding this tragic position is not themselves a rapist or a pedophile.

    That logical inconsistency is ignored by politicians purporting to be “pro life” for votes.

    If Perriello would simply be honest and say he’s in favor of abortion on demand although he wouldn’t actually do it himself then he would be as logically consistent as a man saying he is in favor of rape and pedophilia although he would never rape or molest anyone.

    To say otherwise would be completely nonsensical. Can you imagine a politician making a similar statement about rape and pedophilia, “Rob, again, we have different questions of conscience and constitutionality. I am vehemently opposed to rape and pedophilia but I would never, under any circumstances ban it.”

    Perriello would never make such a statement because he would be laughed off the air, but for purposes of political gain he has no problem making a similarly logically inconsistent statement with regard to abortion.

    Anyone who thinks it’s okay to kill an unborn child and in the next breath promote how “pro life” they are is truly a natural born politician. And perhaps that is Perriello’s biggest weakness?

  7. In my opinion what Tom Perriello wanted the listener to believe was that he was a student of the Constitution (he is an attorney) and that his conscience and constitutionality don’t always go hand-in-hand. Absent any context that sounds fine.

    Perriello neither directly mentions nor alludes to being an attorney, nor does being an attorney make one a scholar of the Constitution, so I see no reason to think he was calling himself an expert on the constitutionality of the law, rather that he was saying that Roe allows little latitude for restricting abortion. One can disagree about how much can be done, but that’s what it sounds like he’s referring to. Roe is law, and under our Constitution we have a separation of powers. Perriello’s in the legislative branch, not the judicial branch.

    Anyhow, as for conscience and constitutionality not going hand-in-hand, are you saying that no one can in good conscience claim that Roe was rightly decided, is not unconstitutional??

    Except we’re talking about Roe vs. Wade which makes it political satire. I would like Mr. Perriello to explain to the peanut gallery exactly how Roe vs. Wade is Constitutional on its face,

    See above – you’re asking the wrong question. Again, how could Perriello as a congressman overturn Roe? I’m sympathetic to the argument that it was wrongly decided, but it has been law and has been the basis for other rulings since 1973.

    It’s like someone being against rape and pedophilia but REFUSING to criminalize it. That doesn’t really mean that person is against rape or pedophilia, it just means that the person holding this tragic position is not themselves a rapist or a pedophile.

    That logical inconsistency is ignored by politicians purporting to be “pro life” for votes.

    Would you tell a mother with three kids whose husband has left her or died that she’s comparable to a rapist or pedophile for having an abortion? That’s where your analogy fails. Rape is an act of hostility and pedophilia is a twisted form of sexuality, and there is no room for argument about either one of those judgments. But one can oppose abortion and still recognize that people of good will can disagree. Perriello probably recognizes that many women choose abortion for the good of the family they already have. To recognize that isn’t to agree that abortion isn’t wrong. It’s to recognize that sometimes in life there are competing goods, and that people of good sometimes mistake the lesser good for the greater. Add to that the recognition that society functions best when we allow relative latitude on matters of conscience.

    Again, I disagree with Perriello and think abortion should be criminalized if possible. But that’s a different matter. This is where tolerance comes in. It’s true that the concept can be tossed around to mean “anything goes,” to excuse any immoral behavior. But true tolerance is a form of loving your neighbor – in this case of trying to understand his thinking instead of rushing to judge it.

  8. “Perriello neither directly mentions nor alludes to being an attorney, nor does being an attorney make one a scholar of the Constitution, so I see no reason to think he was calling himself an expert on the constitutionality of the law, rather that he was saying that Roe allows little latitude for restricting abortion. One can disagree about how much can be done, but that’s what it sounds like he’s referring to. Roe is law, and under our Constitution we have a separation of powers. Perriello’s in the legislative branch, not the judicial branch.” – Ken

    As you know, the judicial branch is not allowed to legislate. That is one of the underlying tenants of the separation of powers. Unfortunately, Roe is a judicial decision that is not based on actual law, as I pointed out in a post to another comment. Rather, it’s based on judicial legislation. (see previous comment)

    I don’t know about you, but I hold men and women with the power to amend the Constitution to a higher standard than the average man on the street. And it’s safe to assume that a Congressman that lists his law degree from Yale in his public bio has at the bare minimum sat through Constitutional Law class.

    Do you think he considers himself a Constitutional novice? If so, that might explain some of his comments with respect to abortion. ;-)

    “Anyhow, as for conscience and constitutionality not going hand-in-hand, are you saying that no one can in good conscience claim that Roe was rightly decided, is not unconstitutional?” – Ken

    That is not what Perriello is claiming. He thinks abortion is wrong and would never do it. So he is not “in good conscience” defending Roe vs. Wade.

    If he was logically consistent then I could agree to disagree on the merits. However, he’s decided to be logically inconsistent in an attempt to be all things to all people.

    He’s a true politician in that regard.

    “Would you tell a mother with three kids whose husband has left her or died that she’s comparable to a rapist or pedophile for having an abortion?” – Ken

    Unfortunately, it’s not cut and dried due to the propaganda that abortionists spread. I believe that many women are not aware that their baby has a beating heart and developing brain because groups like Planned Parenthood have been so effective at dehumanizing the unborn to keep the abortion gravy train rolling.

    In criminal law its known as “mens rea”. The act alone doesn’t make a party guilty unless their mind knew what they were doing. For this reason we have various defenses: mistake, insanity, etc.

    And that is why we need to make sure that pregnant mothers know what lives inside of them is a life with a beating heart and developing brain. And if they fully understand that their baby is a life with a beating heart and developing brain and want to go through with an abortion regardless then perhaps it’s an unfair comparison, since many would argue that it’s worse than being a rapist or a pedophile.

    However, in my opinion I don’t think most mothers staring at a sonogram of their baby moving around on a monitor in front of them would be willing to kill the child. It’s only with the assistance of propagandists such as Planned Parenthood that abortion has become a national scourge.

    In my personal experience talking to post abortive mothers and fathers, most of them walked into Planned Parenthood out of fear and once they walked through the door the deception began. And that’s very sad since many of them are young adults and become guilt stricken later in life when they learn the truth about abortion. And that is why we need to offer these parents caring alternatives and let them know that there are families out there ready to love their child and pay for all of their medical expenses, offer them a place to live while pregnant, and in some cases allow them to be a part of the baby’s life through open adoption.

    That doesn’t let everyone off the hook. Certainly many abortionist doctors know full well what they’re doing. Some of them perform sonogram assisted abortions and see the baby fighting for its life and are able to dismember the child and then go home and have dinner.

    Some are willing to kill babies 9 months old! Until 2007 partial birth abortion was legal, a gruesome procedure defended by some members of Congress and even the President of the United States.

    That’s where the slippery slope leads when we start winking at our unalienable rights.

    “Perriello probably recognizes that many women choose abortion for the good of the family they already have. To recognize that isn’t to agree that abortion isn’t wrong. It’s to recognize that sometimes in life there are competing goods, and that people of good sometimes mistake the lesser good for the greater. Add to that the recognition that society functions best when we allow relative latitude on matters of conscience.” – Ken

    In both of your posts you put quite a few words into Perriello’s mouth and then complain about interpretations of his actual statements by others, but for the sake of discussion I’ll assume your speculations are correct.

    Abortion is not a competing good. Anymore than slavery was a competing good for the plantation owner. To call abortion a “competing good” is ridiculous on its face.

    It’s like saying robbing a bank is a competing good. For whom? The bank robber?

    All of this is possible if we ignore the victims of abortion, innocent babies with beating hearts and developing brains.

    Abortion is -> NOT <- a victimless crime. There is a life being stolen. And if anyone thinks killing an unborn child is what is best for a family then they're simply blind to the rights of the unborn child.

    That child was created, not born, with an unalienable right to life. And that unalienable right to life trumps a politician that thinks it might be a burden to society. In fairness to pregnant mothers, they're not required to raise the child which your example assumes.

    If a mother does not have to pay for any of the medical expenses or raise the child it's not a serious financial burden on the family — even if we ignore the obvious violation of the child's unalienable right to life.

    "Again, I disagree with Perriello and think abortion should be criminalized if possible. But that’s a different matter. This is where tolerance comes in. It’s true that the concept can be tossed around to mean “anything goes,” to excuse any immoral behavior. But true tolerance is a form of loving your neighbor – in this case of trying to understand his thinking instead of rushing to judge it." – Ken

    It might surprise you but I am incredibly tolerant on most things. I am generally very much against governmental intrusion into the private lives of American citizens. I believe both political parties are far to eager to make decisions that are better left to the individual.

    Part of being born in a free country is allowing adults members of society to make decisions that we might disagree with — so long as they're not harming a third party or abridging their God given rights.

    Although I personally disagree with certain lifestyles, I am willing to be tolerant and defend a couples decision to have consensual sex for purposes of entertainment that has a very high likelihood of leading to a pregnancy. You probably know that over the course of ten years you're almost guaranteed to get a girl pregnant even with "perfect use" birth control.

    Sadly, a lot of young people think there is such as thing as "safe sex." There is "safer" sex — but no such thing as "safe sex". This euphemism has helped create a billion dollar abortion industry and an STD epidemic in which nearly 1 in 4 women have herpes and in certain minority communities it's 50% of the women.

    However, once a life is created I must weigh their right to "liberty" with the child's unalienable right to "life". The child did not ask to be created — the parents generally (with a few exceptions) chose to have sex whose natural purpose is to create progeny.

    The problem we have in the United States is that we want the unmitigated access to consensual sex without the consequences. And our solution isn't to simply put the child up for adoption or raise it in a best case scenario — our solution is to dehumanize an innocent victim and kill them.

    There is no way to candy coat abortion. It violates the very principles upon which this country was formed, in much the same way slavery violated the unalienable right to liberty. And not surprisingly many of the same arguments were used to defend both institutions.

    And both have a poorly reasoned Supreme Court decision to defend their position (Dred Scott v. Sandford/Roe v. Wade). And both were not worth the paper they were printed on because no court, Congress, or physician has the rightful authority to steal an unalienable right.

    If that were possible it wouldn't be unalienable. Even if we all voted in favor of slavery it would still be wrong. The same is true for abortion.

    One final thought… I don't think Perriello is a lost cause with regard to abortion. I hope he will eventually become a pro lifer and work to change the hearts and minds of other members of Congress regardless of the outcome of the upcoming election.

    Enjoyed the discussion!

    -Steve

  9. Steve, I’ve enjoyed the discussion too. Thanks!

    Do you think he considers himself a Constitutional novice? If so, that might explain some of his comments with respect to abortion. ;-)

    I think we can agree that Constitutional scholars differ on their approaches, and differ on whether or not the right to privacy is found in the Constitution.

    “Anyhow, as for conscience and constitutionality not going hand-in-hand, are you saying that no one can in good conscience claim that Roe was rightly decided, is not unconstitutional?” – Ken

    Perriello is [. . .] not “in good conscience” defending Roe vs. Wade.

    Roe doesn’t rule on whether abortion is right or wrong, but on whether it’s constitutionally permissible.

    “Would you tell a mother with three kids whose husband has left her or died that she’s comparable to a rapist or pedophile for having an abortion?” – Ken

    Unfortunately, it’s not cut and dried due to the propaganda that abortionists spread.

    I agree that Planned Parenthood and the like have done all they could to dehumanize the fetus in people’s minds, and that many people who choose abortion regret it later, although probably not as many as the pro-life community thinks. But it’s simply not true that everyone who thinks hard and thinks clearly about the issue becomes pro-life. Your analogy fails because it fails to consider the good which many mothers intend to accomplish and do accomplish with abortion.

    In both of your posts you put quite a few words into Perriello’s mouth and then complain about interpretations of his actual statements by others, but for the sake of discussion I’ll assume your speculations are correct.

    My interpretations — guesses, really — make sense of what he said, and reflect common pro-choice thinking. Yours only make him a hypocrite. Occam’s Razor.

    Abortion is not a competing good. Anymore than slavery was a competing good for the plantation owner. To call abortion a “competing good” is ridiculous on its face.

    It’s like saying robbing a bank is a competing good. For whom? The bank robber?

    Now you’re comparing not just, say, single mothers choosing abortion, but the children they already have, to slaveholders and bank robbers. I agree that abortion can be a purely selfish choice. But surely you can empathize with a mother in a tough situation.

    Abortion is -> NOT <- a victimless crime.

    No, that’s why I say there are sometimes TWO competing goods, the life of the fetus AND the lives of the rest of the family.

    In fairness to pregnant mothers, they’re not required to raise the child which your example assumes.

    In fairness to pregnant mothers, giving a child up for adoption must be a wrenching decision, and not just because she’ll miss her child. Not all children get adopted, and even if a child does, the mother has no way of knowing how well the child is being raised. A mother might choose abortion rather than take a chance, or put her family through the hardship of having another child.

    It might surprise you but I am incredibly tolerant on most things. I am generally very much against governmental intrusion into the private lives of American citizens.

    It doesn’t surprise me at all, but if you’re a conservative, that sounds like a political position, not an example of tolerance.

    I am willing to be tolerant and defend a couples decision to have consensual sex for purposes of entertainment

    I think the sexual drive, even when it’s indulged at its crudest, goes far beyond a desire for entertainment.

    However, once a life is created I must weigh their right to “liberty” with the child’s unalienable right to “life”.

    I don’t see any right to life anywhere in the Bible. I just see God loving human life and forbidding killing. The idea that a fetus, whose life outside the womb might be wonderful or horrible, has a right to be born, seems fanciful and sentimental to me. I don’t think abortion violates a fetuses “rights.” I think it disobeys God.

    One final thought… I don’t think Perriello is a lost cause with regard to abortion.

    That’s a much more charitable view than that of many of your friends on the Religious Right.

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