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She’s a leader. She’s an Illinois native. And she is a champion for women’s health and rights.

Meet Marie Newman (D). She’s running for Congress in Illinois’ third district, just southwest of Chicago. This November, Illinois voters have the opportunity to elect Newman and send a powerful advocate for Planned Parenthood patients and women’s health to Congress.

Time and time again, Newman has made it clear that she will fight for our rights in Illinois and across the country. She believes women should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies. She supports Planned Parenthood health centers and patients. She believes health care is a right, not a privilege.

But Newman’s opponent, Dan Lipinski (D), is just the opposite. He’s tried to block access to safe, legal abortion for over a decade. Lipinski has voted not once, not twice, but seven times to block patients from accessing birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. And along the way, he’s consistently attacked women and LGBTQ folks. This might explain why only 38 percent of constituents want to reelect him.

That’s why the race for this Illinois congressional seat is so important. It’s not just about our health care — it’s about our rights and our freedom. Here’s a breakdown of where Newman and Lipinski stand on the issues that affect you.

Abortion access

Newman supports Roe v. Wade’s access to safe, legal abortion. She understands that “reproductive decisions belong with women,” “not with government or politicians.” And she’s not backing down, stating: “Enough is enough. We, as women, have the right to make the decisions we need to make with our doctors.”

Lipinski — a longtime member and current co-chair of the so-called Pro-Life Caucus — has voted on anti-abortion legislation multiple times. This includes the infamous “forcible rape” ban, which attempted to twist the definition of rape to  deny an  abortion. No wonder he’s spoken at the “March for Life” and received thousands of dollars from Susan B. Anthony List, an extreme anti-women’s health organization.

Supporting Planned Parenthood Patients

Newman will protect Planned Parenthood patients and the care they receive at health centers. As Newman says, Planned Parenthood provides essential health care for “millions of Americans and working families.”

Lipinski has voted multiple times to block Planned Parenthood patients from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing. He’s also falsely claimed Planned Parenthood is “largely about abortions” — only to be later corrected by his constituents.

LGBTQ rights

From celebrating Pride Month to supporting her transgender daughter, Newman is a proven “proud ally” to the LGBTQ communities. She will protect queer and trans rights in congress, and has stated that “human rights for all yields human kindness to all. Everyone should be able to marry who they want.”

Lipinski, however, has consistently tried to roll back LGBTQ rights. This includes voting to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, among other discriminatory bills, and even supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Health care

Newman knows that health care is a right, not a privilege. She understands the pressing need to “expand health care for all Americans” and has promised to “continue fighting until everyone has equal rights and opportunities.”

Lipinski, meanwhile, voted against the Affordable Care Act under President Obama. This is, of course, in addition to his multiple attempts to block patients from getting the care they need at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Immigration

Newman has promised that she “will continue to fight for a fair resolution for all Dreamers.” Standing with immigrant youth is an important part of Newman’s platform, and she knows Dreamers “deserve protection here in America, their home.”

But Lipinski voted against the Dream Act under President Obama. And he hasn’t been a vocal supporter of immigrant youth recently, only giving “initial support” to bipartisan efforts to pass a clean Dream Act.

The bottom line

Newman is a fearless champion of women’s health and rights — while Lipinski has spent over a decade in Washington trying to ban abortion and strip access to birth control.

As Illinois voters head to the polls this November, they should look no further than Marie Newman.

Photo Credit: NARAL Pro Choice America

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