Several contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination have thrown their support behind the progressive candidate mounting a primary challenge to pro-life House Democrat Dan Lipinski of Illinois as the party debates whether it can still make room for pro-life politicians.
Senators Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Washington governor Jay Inslee, have endorsed progressive activist Marie Newman in her second bid to oust Lipinski.
“She will be a powerful voice for upholding Roe v. Wade at a disturbing moment in our history when a woman’s right to control her own body and future is at stake,” said Sanders, who endorsed Newman last election cycle as well. “Marie will challenge the establishment by fighting for Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, expanding workers’ rights.”
“It’s never been more clear: Republicans are determined to end Roe vs. Wade,” Inslee wrote on Twitter in May. “Marie Newman will protect a woman’s right to chose and equality for all Americans.”
Gillibrand endorsed Newman in April at a Democratic event in Lipinski’s district, saying, “She’s got a tough race in front of her, but I promise you, Marie will represent her district better, and she will represent all of us better.”
EMILY’s List, Democracy for America, MoveOn, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed Newman when she ran to unseat Lipinski in the 2018 Democratic primary, losing by a mere two points. In that race, the Democratic party refused to endorse Lipinski, who is co-chairman of the House pro-life caucus and has represented his Chicago-area district since 2005. The district leans socially conservative but has been represented by a Democrat in Congress since 1974. Sanders won the district in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Lipinski, who gave a rousing speech defending unborn life at the March for Life rally this year, has called the one-sided thinking a “big problem for the party.”
“I think the party really hurts itself tremendously by suggesting that it’s not open to people who are pro-life, pro-life voters,” he said at the March.