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Top Five: After Abortion Defeat, Will Nelson Back Healthcare Bill Anyway?

Plus: Ireland defends its abortion laws, evangelical group argues for civil unions, a shift in "middle of the road" congregations, and other stories.

1. Senate fight over abortion funding may continue after yesterday's vote

The Senate yesterday defeated a health-care bill amendment that would have ensured no federal funds for abortions. The vote was 54-45—ominous for the health-care bill's supporters, who need 60 votes to end debate. The anti-abortion amendment's chief sponsor, Nebraska's Sen. Ben Nelson (Bob Casey and Orrin Hatch were co-sponsors) had earlier suggested he'd filibuster the bill if his amendment failed, but a comment shortly after yesterday's vote now has some pro-lifers and other conservatives worried that he's backtracking.

The Huffington Post reported:

Nelson routinely seeks out packs of reporters and speaks at length until questions are exhausted, but following Tuesday's 54-45 vote, he slipped out the back of the Senate chamber to head for negotiations between five liberal and five conservative Democrats going on in a room across from Majority Leader Harry Reid's office.
A few reporters waiting outside the door ...
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