The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Simply to Win an Election’

U.S. Congressman Daniel Lipinski votes in the Democratic Party’s congressional primary election at St. James Lutheran Church in Western Springs, Illinois, March 20, 2018. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

Last week, Representative Dan Lipinski lost the Democratic primary in the third district of Illinois to Marie Newman, a progressive challenger who, unlike Lipinski, supports legal abortion on demand. In a news conference the day after his defeat, Lipinski addressed the elephant in the room: his refusal to flip-flop on his pro-life convictions.

“Over the years, I’ve watched many other politicians succumb to pressure and change their position on this issue,” he said last Wednesday. “I have always said that I would never give up being pro-life and standing up for babies in the womb. . . . I could never give up protecting the most vulnerable human beings in the world simply to win an election.”

In an opinion article earlier this week, published in the Wall Street Journal, Lipinski reflected on these comments at greater length, and pro-life advocates should take a couple of minutes to read it in full. Here’s just a bit of what he wrote:

Abortion advocacy groups poured millions into my opponent’s campaign. If I had simply changed my position on abortion, there probably wouldn’t have been a contest. Abortion proponents wanted to hear me express regret about sticking with my pro-life beliefs. . . .

[At the news conference] Politico’s Shia Kapos posed this question: “There are some pro-life Democrats, like Tim Kaine, who have found a way to come to terms with the fact that they do not believe in abortion but they also support a woman’s right to choose, so they have been able to kind of maneuver—there isn’t just black and white, there is some flexibility. Did Tim Kaine ever talk to you about that?”

I replied that if you believe life exists in the womb, you have to support policies that protect that life.

Lipinski might not be returning to Congress next January, but at least he can take pride in being a man of conviction who doesn’t throw out his principles when they become inconvenient.

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