Congressman Dan Lipinski, who represents Oak Lawn and won a very close primary against the previously unknown Marie Newman, has been named as a speaker for the March for Life.
Lipinski was scheduled to speak at last year’s rally, but backed out after receiving criticism from abortion-rights groups, and an ever increasing progressive movement within his party, that supported Newman.
Lipinski, a pro-life advocate, explained that he did not want to share a stage with President Trump, who participated in the rally. Lipinski has spoken at the event in previous years. Trump was the first U.S. President to address the crowd live via satellite from the White House Rose Garden rather than on the phone or by a recorded message.
Lipinski’s agreement to return to the annual event and once again speak at the rally may be a testament to his anti-abortion principles but is apparently in direct conflict with recent polling data.
Recent polling, taken prior to the November election, finds that the issue of abortion is now more important to Democrats than Republicans.
A PRRI survey found that nearly half (47 percent) of Democrats said abortion is a critically important issue to them personally while only 40 percent of Republicans had the same response. In 2015, only 36 percent of Democrats had that opinion while 43 percent of Republicans said abortion was a critical concern. The polling may be an obvious sign that the party is shifting more to the left as Democrats are almost twice as likely today to rate the issue as critical as they were in 2011.
A Pew poll confirmed that the abortion issue is a far more central voting concern for Democrats today than it has been at any point in the last ten years. 61 percent of Democratic voters said abortion was very important in November. In 2008, only 38 percent of Democratic voters thought the issue was very important.
The shift in thinking in the Democratic party is best seen by comparing answers regarding the importance of issues such as taxes, immigration, and the budget deficit. Amazingly, the percent of voters saying abortion is a central voting concern is approximately the same percentage of Democratic voters who say terrorism, taxes, immigration, the federal budget deficit or trade policy is an important voting issue. In a Pew research poll, 76 percent of Democrats identified as pro-choice prior to the November election.
Abortion-rights groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood spent money and mobilized voters to unseat Lipinski in 2018. NARAL went so far as to claim his planned speech at the 2018 March for Life was “proof of his extreme agenda.”
Lipinski claimed that he was representing the views of his district and received support from anti-abortion groups like the Susan B. Anthony List.
The March for Life, scheduled for January 18, 2019, is an annual rally protesting the legality of abortion and calling for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. The rally is held in Washington, D.C. on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Speakers and performers scheduled for the March for Life are as follows:
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT)
Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ)
State Representative Katrina Jackson (D-LA)
Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire
Abby Johnson, founder of And Then There Were None
Dr. Alveda King, Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn with Priests for Life
Dr. Kathi Aultman, fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Ally Cavazos, President of Princeton Pro-Life
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-life Activities Committee.