Holding signs and chanting aloud, more than 25 pro-abortion rights supporters rallied Monday morning outside the Lockport office of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, in response to his joining other members of Congress in requesting a review of the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.
Lipinski was among more than 200 members of Congress, mostly Republicans, who signed onto an amicus brief filed in the June Medical Services v. Gee case, regarding a Louisiana law requiring doctors who provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
A U.S. Appellate Court upheld the law and the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case. The brief asks the court to review the 1973 Supreme Court precedent legalizing abortion.
Several protestors said they believe Lipinski is waging a war against women and their reproductive rights.
“I’m here because he’s launched an attack on those with uteruses and our freedom,” said Holli Fingerle, a fellow for Indivisible South Suburban Chicago. “He’s failed to protect us by doing all that he can to violate the free will and the bodily autonomy of his constituents.”
Suzanna Ibarra of the Will County Progressives said she doesn’t believe Lipinski is upholding the platform of the Democratic Party.
“This is, by far, the last straw for me and many other people,” she said. “We want awareness brought to this situation. Choice is extremely important to me and women all around the United States of America and abroad.”
Megan McCullough, a grassroots organizer for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, shared that sentiment, saying people need to hold Lipinski accountable for his actions.
“Dan Lipinski doesn’t represent the people of Illinois’ 3rd District,” she said. “We want a candidate, like Marie Newman, who stands up and fights for women’s rights.”
Newman, a La Grange resident, is running against Lipinski in the March 17 Democratic Primary, a rematch of their 2018 contest in which Newman lost to Lipinski, an eight-term lawmaker, by just 2.2 percentage points.
The 3rd Congressional District takes in a small portion of Chicago and extends into west and southwest suburbs including Western Springs and Oak Lawn and down to Lockport.
Jas West of Friends Who March was at the protest hoisting a cardboard print-out depicting Lipinski as a Simpson’s character. She criticized the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for concertedly supporting incumbents in the party.
“If they don’t support choice, we aren’t voting for them,” West said. “They have to go.”
Annie Williams, co-lead for the Illinois Handmaids, said enough is enough and condemned Lipinski’s signing of the brief.
“This case could decide the future of abortion access in this country, and we will not sit silently standby and let Congressman Lipinski pledge his support for taking away women’s rights," Williams said.
The demonstration was organized by several groups, including the Will County Progressives, Illinois National Organization for Women, Friends Who March, Illinois Handmaids, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action and Indivisible South Suburban Chicago.
Eric Scheidler of the Chicago area Pro-Life Action League said Monday he thought it was unfair for protestors to be calling for voting Lipinski out of office.
“I think it’s terribly unfair. It’s saying loud and clear to anybody who’s paying attention that the Democratic Party 100% advocating for abortion. There’s no room whatsoever for different opinions, for different approaches and for different voices," Scheidler said.
After remarks given by several speakers, a group of protestors entered the office demanding a meeting with Lipinski.
Lipinski released a statement Monday defending his record and said he signed the amicus brief because he agreed with the intention of the law as stated by the author, Democratic Louisiana state Rep. Katrina Jackson: ‘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 safemanner that offers women the optimal protection and care of their bodies.”
Lipinski said in his statement that he didn’t believe that was an "undue burden.”
Lipinski said he welcomes the rights of protesters to come to his district offices to voice their concerns about government matters.
“One of the most cherished rights in our Constitution is the freedom of assembly,” the statement read.