Democrat Marie Newman was endorsed by national progressive groups this week in her primary challenge against anti-choice Rep. Dan Lipinski to represent Illinois’ 3rd District, pointing to the congressman’s record opposing reproductive and LGBTQ rights.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee, and the Human Rights Campaign announced endorsements of Newman on Tuesday and planned to come together in Chicago on Wednesday to speak in support of the candidate.
Lipinski, who won his seat after his father stepped down in 2004, has made no secret of his anti-choice views, though they break from the Democratic Party’s plank on abortion rights. He co-chairs the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and sits on the federal advisory board of anti-choice group Democrats for Life of America.
“For too long, Dan Lipinski has ignored the needs of working families across Illinois, by pushing his fringe ideological agenda at the expense of women and families across the state,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a Tuesday statement. “Congressman Lipinski is way out of step with his constituents and with Democratic party principles when it comes to women’s rights, LGBT equality, and the basic freedoms that Americans hold dear.”
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Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, said in a statement that his organization was supporting Newman “because Illinois voters deserve a Democratic congressional delegation that is as unflinchingly committed to fighting for abortion rights and LGBT equality as they are to standing up to any other racial and economic injustice.”
Lipinski is one of only two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to sign on to a GOP-backed measure this year to restrict abortion beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on the false claim that a fetus can feel pain at this point in a pregnancy. He has co-sponsored other anti-choice measures such as a permanent ban on federal abortion funding, voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and has questioned evidence-based guidelines for medication abortion.
Her campaign platform includes calls to expand access to health care through “Healthcare-For-All solutions” and criticizes Lipinski’s opposition to reproductive rights. “Consistent with the Roe v. Wade decision, I believe that reproductive decisions belong with women and her right to choose, not with government or politicians,” her campaign site says, noting that Lipinski “has voted consistently to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate a woman’s right to choose.”
Lipinski’s district is rated as “Solid Democrat” by the Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales/Roll Call ratings, meaning the seat is likely to remain in the hands of Democrats no matter who wins the March 20 primary in 2018.