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Abortion activists camp in Rep. Lipinski’s office as centrist Democrat faces resistance

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CHICAGO — In today’s political climate, politicians like Congressman Dan Lipinski are an endangered species: the centrist is a rare Democrat who is also staunchly anti-abortion. And that has liberals gunning for him.

Abortion rights activists stormed Lipinski's Lockport office and camped out Monday afternoon, demanding a meeting over the issue.

"Over the years the courts have gotten more and more conservative, and the government is trying to tell women what we can and can’t do with our bodies," said Laura Welch, Illinois National Organization for Women.

Lipinski is in his 8th term in this Southwest Side – DuPage County district.

Lipinski opposes abortion rights and he does not hide his position. The congressman recently signed onto a "Friend of the Court" brief filed in a case seeking to overturn Roe. V. Wade, the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion nationwide.

"So a supposed Democrat, Dan Lipinski, we call him a Democrat in name only, had just signed on to a case that is going to the Supreme Court of the United States that potentially has the ability to overturn Roe v Wade," Welch said.

Over the weekend, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked a fight with Lipinski, tweeting it was "time to leave Dan Lipinski."

“I support a big tent but there’s no room under the flaps for anyone who is actively seeking to deny women control over our bodies," Lightfoot said.

The dust-up comes ahead of the March 17 primary where Lipinski will face two Democratic challengers.

"Dan Lipinski doesn’t get it. We’re now in 2020, he calls himself a Democrat. But yet the core values of what you should believe as a Democrat is that a woman should have a choice," candidate Rush Darwish said.

The other candidate, Marie Newman, faced Lipinski head-to-head in 2018 and lost by just 2 percent. This time, leading national progressive groups are backing Newman.

"I think this is right on brand, right? So Dan has told us for years that he is aggressively working to overturn Roe v. Wade so I think he fulfilled his promise. He continues to vote against the district," Marie Newman said.

Congressman Lipinski was not available for an interview, but he provided a statement about the Louisiana law in question requiring hospital admitting privileges for physicians performing abortions: “I signed the amicus brief because I agree with the intention of the law as stated by the Author,” said Lipinski.

‘If you are going to perform abortions in the State of Louisiana, you’re going to do so in a safe environment and in a safe manner that offers women the optimal protection and care of their bodies,” Lipinski said.

The congressman says this requirement is not an “undue burden.” He’s said before that Newman is “extreme” on abortion.

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