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Illinois primary forecasts future for pro-life Democrats

by Evan Wilt
Posted 3/20/18, 12:12 pm

Illinois voters head to the polls Tuesday for one of the first congressional primary races of 2018 and a watershed moment for pro-life Democrats. Incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski faces challenger Marie Newman in the Democratic primary race for Illinois’ 3rd District, near Chicago. Lipinski co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus, and is one of only two pro-life Democrats in the caucus. Since joining Congress in 2005, Lipinski has won reelection comfortably, but the political dynamic in his district has shifted. Some of Lipinski’s longtime colleagues, including Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., decided to endorse Newman earlier this year. They based their decision largely on Lipinski’s pro-life stance. Meanwhile, national pro-abortion groups NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Human Rights Campaign, and EMILY’s List poured money into Newman’s campaign and deployed an active on-the-ground effort to drum up votes for her. Democratic leaders claim abortion is not a litmus test for party membership, but lawmakers like Lipinski walk a tightrope. In January, Lipinski spoke to pro-life supporters at the Chicago March for Life but decided at the last minute to skip the larger event in Washington, D.C. Lipinski said after the fact he was not comfortable sharing a stage with President Donald Trump, who addressed the march via live-streamed video.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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