- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2019

An influential liberal House Democrat said Friday that her party should impose a litmus test on candidates, demanding they adhere to pro-choice beliefs.

Rep. Pramillia Jayapal, who serves in House Democratic Caucus leadership as a senior whip, said those Democrats who don’t espouse those beliefs should expect to face primary challenges from more liberal Democrats.

“Personally, I do think that there should be a set of core Democratic ideals that we all agree to — that you can’t say you’re a Democrat if you’re against immigrants, if you’re against abortion, if you’re against gay marriage and LGBTQ rights,” the Washington lawmaker told reporters on Friday.

Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski is one of only a few pro-life Democrats still on Capitol Hill, and he has come under fire from progressive activists who want to defeat him in 2020.

Several groups and Rep. Ro Khanna, a prominent member of the CPC, have come out to endorse Marie Newman, a political with the backing of several pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List.

“In a time when the president and GOP have made it clear that stripping away the fundamental rights of women is at the top of their agenda, we must have a leader to stand up against Trump. That is not Congressman Dan Lipinski,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in a statement.

Ms. Jayapal’s comments and the crack down on pro-life Democrats come as red states pass bills with strong restrictions on abortion. Several, including most recently in Georgia, passed heartbeat bills, effectively banning abortion after the six to eight week marker.

Just this week Alabama passed what is being described as the most restrictive law yet — prohibiting abortion in nearly all situations.

The bill has sparked a tidal wave of backlash from Democrats and even Minority Whip Kevin McCarthy denounced it as going too far.

“I think its unbelievable that states that refuse to expand Medcaid to take care of babies are wiling to pass unconstitutional bans on abortion,” Ms. Jayapal said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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