Democrats Turn Their Backs on Anti-Abortion Congressman Dan Lipinski

When†Marie Newman announced her plan to once again challenge Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination, responses from the left were sadly mixed. Lipinski, a Illinois political scion,†would be an easy win over any Republican in a general election, leaving the party with no need to pour any resources into the race.

But Lipinski had one very massive drawback as a candidate: his voting record as an anti-abortion Democrat.

The congressman consistently voted with Republicans on abortion bans†and†reproductive health clinic defunding — even against the Affordable Care Act.†Lipinski’s voting record was nearly enough to lose him the 2018 party primary to Newman — a loss that would’ve been inevitable if anti-abortion groups hadn’t poured resources into the race to back him.

Despite these issues, Democratic mainstays like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, continued to†support†Lipinski.

But†that may now be coming to an end. DCCC chair Rep. Cheri Bustos announced that she would not attend a DCCC fundraiser on behalf of Lipinski, citing his problematic record on abortion rights as something she couldn’t overlook.

According to†Politico, Bustos stated:

Iím proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and Iím deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on womenís access to reproductive care in several states.†Iíve determined that I must cancel my participation in this event.

The reaction from Bustos is a good start from the DCCC, but it sadly doesn’t end†the body’s continuing support of Lipinski. The group’s†current rules†make it extremely difficult for Newman to run her primary campaign with any sort of establishment support, despite the fact that her views align far more with the party platform than do those of the incumbent.

At a time when abortion rights are disappearing state by state, offering party resources to a person who literally votes with the opposite side of the aisle seems like a poor way to prove that the lives and rights of those who can get pregnant matter to the Democratic party.

The party might be reticent to back away from Lipinski, but progressive groups have already made it clear that they will be supporting Newman as the true Democratic standard-bearer. In early May, Newman announced five major endorsements from organizations eager to see Lipinski go.

The Herald-News†reported:

In an email, Newmanís campaign announced that the political action committee EMILYís List, the pro-abortion rights advocacy group NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the public policy advocacy group MoveOn and the Progressive Campaign Committee all endorsed the challenger from La Grange. “Thatís not just huge Ė itís nearly unprecedented for a challengerís campaign 10 months out from the primary,” according to the email. “These endorsements … arenít just a stroke of good luck. Dan Lipinski has spent his career voting against working families, choice, against equality, against immigrants and against access to health care.”

Progressive groups that back Democratic candidates understand that especially for this upcoming election cycle voters need candidates that live and vote their values — and that outweighs how long a person has been in office. The DCCC, unfortunately, appears to be slow to get that message.

While an “incumbent first” focus might matter in highly conservative districts where it is assumed only a centrist can hold a seat, that’s not the landscape surrounding Lipinski’s candidacy, making the policy nonsensical — especially when Lipinski vows not to vote with the party on reproductive rights no matter what they do to support him.

Vanity Fair†reports:

In the eyes of many Democrats, Lipinski is practically a Republican, voting with President Trump nearly 40 percent of the time in the 115th Congress. But he is running for re-election in a decidedly blue district, which swung 6 percentage points more Democratic than the national average in the past two presidential elections.

In an interview with The New York Times Wednesday night after Bustos, a member of the centrist New Democrat Coalition, announced her decision to pull out of the fundraiser, Lipinski said the D.C.C.C. chair was put “in an incredibly difficult spot”† and didnít assign blame to her, but the “people in the party who are not tolerant.” Their narrow views on abortion, he said, are “how we got President Trumpópeople felt like they werenít welcome in the party.”

President Trump — it should be remembered — lost the popular vote by millions of votes in 2016.

Is it “intolerant” to want the party nominee to actually vote with his or her party if elected? If so, well, here’s to intolerance.

Lipinksi may still have the DCCC on his side for now, but his pool of allies already looks to be getting smaller — and hopefully it will shrink even more before the primary rolls around. The last thing we need heading into a potential post-Roe America is a “Democrat” who says the right to an abortion isn’t something to fight for.

Photo Credit: Charles Edward Miller/Flickr

56 comments

Lesa DiIorio
Lesa DiIorio6 days ago

#1836 petition signed...

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Lesa DiIorio
Lesa DiIorio6 days ago

thank you Robin...

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Leo Custer
Leo Custer6 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Olivia H
Olivia H12 days ago

Thanks for posting

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Leo C
Leo Custer14 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Vasu Murti
Vasu Murti16 days ago

Pro-life feminist Rosemary Bottcher criticized the American Left in the Tallahassee Democrat for its failure to take a stand against abortion:

"The same people who wax hysterical at the thought of executing, after countless appeals, a criminal convicted of some revolting crime would have insisted on his mother's unconditional right to have him killed while he was still innocent.

"The same people who organized a boycott of the Nestle Company for its marketing of infant formula in underdeveloped lands would have approved of the killing of those exploited infants only a few months before.

"The same people who talk incessantly of human rights are willing to deny the most helpless and vulnerable of all human beings the most important right of all.

"Apparently these people do not understand the difference between contraception and abortion"” concluded Bottcher.

"Their arguments defending abortion would be perfectly reasonable if they were talking about contraception. When they insist upon 'reproductive freedom' and 'motherhood by choice' they forget that 'pregnant' means 'being with child.' A pregnant woman has already reproduced; she is already a mother."

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Vasu Murti
Vasu Murti16 days ago

Slightly disagreeing with pro-life feminist Rosemary Bottcher's words (above), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says: "The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman's life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices."

Pro-lifers and pro-choicers agree on everything except the timing: the time to decide when to have a child is before fertilization, not after.

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Ruth S
Ruth S17 days ago

I don't believe in abortion for 99% of the cases. It is murder as far as I am concerned.

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Elaine W
Elaine W19 days ago

Noted. thanks.

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Vasu Murti
Vasu Murti20 days ago

Not all pro-lifers are rabid right-wingers. There's pro-life literature showing photos of endangered species alongside a photo of an ultrasound of an unborn child, and the caption merely asking: "Guess which one isn't protected?"

The Democratic Party platform should support: Animal Rights, Defending the Affordable Care Act, Ending Citizens United, Ending Marijuana Prohibition, Giving Greater Visibility to Pro-Life Democrats, Gun Control, Net Neutrality, Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour, Responding to the Scientific Consensus on Global Warming, and a Sustainable Energy Policy.

Democrats for Life of America, 10521 Judicial Drive, #200, Fairfax, VA 22030, (703) 424-6663

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