U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski, one of the last pro-life Democrats in federal office, narrowly defeated his pro-abortion primary challenger Tuesday in the Illinois primary.
The AP reports Lipinski received about 2 percent more votes than pro-abortion challenger Marie Newman in the heavily Democratic 3rd Congressional District. Newman is a radical pro-abortion advocate who had huge financial backing from the pro-abortion groups Planned Parenthood, NARAL and Emily’s List.
About 1,600 votes separated the two, with 95 percent of precincts reporting, according to the report.
This year, Lipinski faced an uphill battle. Despite being an incumbent who has represented his district for seven terms, the Democratic Party refused to endorse him – an unusual move. And pro-abortion groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat him.
However, his moderate position and pro-life record ultimately won voters.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised Lipinski as a courageous defender of life in the House.
“Dan Lipinski is one of the few remaining pro-life Democrats in Congress, and he has shown extraordinary courage,” she said. “He stood firm against Obamacare’s expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion under intense pressure from party leaders to give in.
“This is a win not only for Rep. Lipinski and the pro-life movement, but for the majority of Americans who support common ground pro-life policies like limiting abortion after five months,” she continued.
Her group campaigned for Lipinski leading up to Tuesday. Their poll of Democratic voters in his district found 64 percent said they, like Lipinski, oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, and 58 percent committed to voting for him, while 8 percent said they were voting for Newman or a Republican candidate.
Kristen Day, president of Democrats for Life, told LifeNews that the party needs more leaders like Lipinski who truly represent voters’ interests.
“The battle is going to continue, but this is absolutely encouraging. Dan is one of our strongest voices in Congress,” Day said.
She praised his courage for standing up against pro-abortion party leaders, and criticized the Democratic National Committee for a “real failure” in not supporting Lipinski, a safe seat for Democrats. Liberal PACs spent millions on his pro-abortion challenger when that money could have been used to support Democratic candidates in more at-risk districts, she said.
“This trying to redefine the party is going to make our party smaller, not bigger,” she said.
Lipinski repeatedly has voted in favor of common-sense abortion regulations that most Americans support. One of his most recent key votes was for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which prohibits abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies can feel pain. He consistently votes to protect unborn babies from late-term abortions and opposes taxpayer funding of abortions, two issues that are popular among Democrats and Republicans alike.
Newman, a former advertising executive and mother of two, has accused Lipinski of being out of step with the values of the Democratic party and the 3rd Congressional District.
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Lipiniski is one of the rare members of his party who is anti-abortion, opposes same-sex marriage and voted against the Affordable Care Act. His positions have caused two other Democratic members of Congress from Illinois — Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez — to endorse Newman.
In contrast, Newman had a radical pro-abortion stance, supporting abortions for any reason up to birth and taxpayer funding for abortions.
The Hill noted the significance of the race:
[Lipinski’s] primary opponent got a huge boost from progressives who were looking to push the party more to the left in the wake of President Trump’s election.
… The internal debate over supporting candidates who don’t back abortion rights roiled the party last year and divided progressives and party leaders, who defended the Democratic Party as a big-tent party.
Lipinski’s win shows that there’s still a path forward for Democrats who mirror him ideologically, though Newman’s strong showing leaves it an open question as to how long that door might remain open.
The Democratic Party has adopted an increasingly radical stance on abortion. In 2016, the DNC approved a platform calling for full support of abortion for any reason up to birth and taxpayer funding of abortions. Both are widely unpopular positions among the general public.
Democrats for Life estimates more than 23 million Democrats in the U.S. are pro-life. Pew Research found that 28 percent of Democrats say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Marist/KofC polling also found that 23 percent of Democrats consider themselves pro-life and 40 percent say abortion is morally wrong.
Many pro-lifers are leaving the Democratic Party because it has stopped supporting pro-life laws and advocates for life like Lipinski. A Massachusetts mayor recently announced his decision to leave, disgusted by the party’s demand that unborn babies be sacrificed and their deaths celebrated.