- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pro-life Democrats say their party’s full embrace of abortion rights has them feeling alienated and considering sitting out the November election.

That feeling accelerated this week after far-left activists and pro-choice groups helped power Marie Newman to victory over Rep. Dan Lipinski — one of the few remaining pro-life Democrats in the House.

Kirsten Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, said pro-life Democrats already a bad taste in their mouth after Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said every Democrat should be pro-choice and the likely presidential nominee, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, reversed his longtime support of the Hyde Amendment legislation that bars the use of taxpayer funding for most abortions.

“There is going to be a number of pro-life Democrats who are not going to go out and vote for Joe Biden,” Ms. Day said. “They may not vote for Trump but they are not going to come out for Biden.”

“He doesn’t have the courage that Dan Lipinski has. Dan was pro-life and he just never caved, no matter how he was treated by his party,” she said. “Contrast that with Joe Biden — one day he said ‘yes, he still supports the Hyde Amendment’ and 12 hours later he flip-flopped.”

“Where is the courage there?” she said.

Mr. Lipinski was a top target of the liberal activists and powerful outside groups — including pro-choice groups such as Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC, and EMILY’s List.

Such far-left party champions as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sens. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts backed her bid. Pro-Newman groups spent over $1.5 million on race, funneling roughly $600,000 into attacks that painted Mr. Lipinski as, among other things, an anti-abortion extremist.

The other pro-life Democrats in the House are Reps. Henry Cuellar of Texas, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Ben McAdams of Utah.

The Newman win gave liberal activists their first ouster of the year, and a reason to celebrate in an otherwise underwhelming election cycle for their cause. They tried and failed to unseat Mr. Cuellar. They also watched Ms. Warren’s presidential campaign end and Mr. Sanders’s presidential aspirations now on life support.

“This is a critical victory for the progressive movement in showing that voters are ready for a new generation of progressive leadership in the Democratic Party,” said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats.

“This isn’t just a loss for one incumbent,” she said. “It’s a defeat for machine politics and big corporate donors who want to stop our movement for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and reproductive rights.”

Mr. Lipinski had voted with President Trump 25% of the time, according to a running analysis of votes by FiveThirtyEight.com.

Pro-life groups lamented the outcome.

“Congressman Lipinski has long been a profile in courage, bucking the sad trend of Democrat leaders vying to be the greatest advocate of abortion,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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