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Berwyn

Lipinski’s abortion stance draws protest

Rep weighed in on abortion-related court case

Laura Welch speaks to the media Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, outside of Rep. Dan Lipinski's office in Lockport.
Laura Welch speaks to the media Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, outside of Rep. Dan Lipinski's office in Lockport.

Dozens of abortion-rights activists protested Monday at U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski’s district office in Lockport.

They were angry because he signed on to an amicus curiae brief weighing in on a key abortion-related Supreme Court case, June Medical Services v. Gee.

At issue in the case is whether Louisiana can require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Opponents of the law claim the requirement is an “undue burden” and a TRAP (targeted regulations on abortion providers) law.

In the brief, lawmakers asked the Supreme Court to reconsider and, if appropriate, overrule Roe v. Wade, the key 1973 case in which the court determined the right to an abortion to be constitutional.

Lipinski, D-Western Springs, has long been open about his anti-abortion stance. In a statement to The Herald-News, he said he signed on to the brief because, “I agree with the intention of the law.”

“This is not an ‘undue burden,’ ” Lipinski said.

But the mostly women protesters disagreed and condemned Lipinski for his stance. They held signs reading, “Abortion is health care,” and, “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries.” A few women dressed up in red capes and white bonnets like characters in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Jax West, from the Friends Who March organization, brought a cardboard cutout of Lipinski’s head on the body of a character from “The Simpsons” that she called “DINO Dan,” meaning he was a “Democrat in name only.”

“I’m here today to call out Dan Lipinski for failing to trust women and science,” said Holly Fingerly, from Indivisible’s South Suburban Chicago chapter. “I’m here because he’s launched an attack on those with uteruses and our freedoms.”

Several demonstrators also spoke in support of voting Lipinski out of office in the upcoming election.

“I’m pretty sure this district wants women to decide for themselves what they do with their bodies,” said Suzanna Ibarra, chairman of Will County Progressives. “If you can’t even uphold those platforms of the Democratic Party, then you have no right to be elected as a Democrat.”

Marie Newman, a La Grange businesswoman and Lipinski’s most prominent primary opponent, said in a tweet that the congressman’s stance “jeopardizes the health of women” in the 3rd District.

“My opponent does not trust women and is not fit to represent us,” Newman tweeted.

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