Lipinski is one of the last congressional Democrats to oppose abortion rights. Normally, a top Democrat appearing at one of his fundraisers would be little noticed, but abortion issues are incredibly fraught as some conservative states move to outlaw abortion in an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.
With that backdrop, there’s little tolerance among those who want to protect abortion rights for a politician who doesn’t.
“I’m proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and I’m deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on women’s access to reproductive care in several states,” Bustos said in a statement Wednesday night.
She acknowledged that she and Lipinski did not agree on women’s reproductive health issues, but that she still wanted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to have a big tent that protects incumbents.
Lipinski said in an interview with the New York Times, which first reported the news, that he understood Bustos was in a “tough spot,” but he criticized the liberal wing of the party as intolerant.
“That’s how we got President Trump; people felt like they weren’t welcome in the party,” he said.
Soon after news broke of the canceled fundraiser, Planned Parenthood Action Fund executive director Kelley Robinson commended Bustos’s decision.
“Being able to have control over your own body is a human right, and the Democratic platform is crystal clear about supporting people’s ability to access full sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion,” Robinson said in a statement.
She added that her organization would work to beat Lipinski next year by supporting his primary challenger, Marie Newman.
Newman spoke to The Washington Post on Monday and criticized Bustos’s planned attendance at Lipinski’s fundraiser.
“What’s funny is that the DCCC and I have a very similar platform and yet they are supporting this guy who has a diametrically opposed platform to them in every way,” Newman said in an interview published in The Post’s Power Up newsletter.
Newman said she’d spoken to Bustos on Monday to voice her concerns about the Democratic Party backing Lipinski.