On abortion: What Kane County-area candidates for federal office have to say

Election 2024
FILE - The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021. The Supreme Court is taking up challenges to a Texas law that has virtually ended abortion in the nation’s second largest state after six weeks of pregnancy. The justices are hearing arguments Monday, Nov. 1, in two cases over whether abortion providers or the Justice Department can mount federal court challenges to the law, which has an unusual enforcement scheme its defenders argue shield it from federal court review. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

What do candidates in the Kane County area running for election for federal office have to say about abortion?

Before Politico’s report of a draft opinion that suggested the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, we asked all candidates running for Congress this question on abortion.

Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?

Here are the candidates’ unedited responses, before the Politico report:

U.S. Congress: House, 6th District:

Sean Casten, Democrat: “Yes, without exception. I co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act to ensure women always have the right to make their own health care choices.

“There is no evidence that reducing access to abortion reduces the incidence of abortion. Nearly 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion before they turn 45. This is true in red states and blue states, across all religions and races. However, women who do not have access to full maternal health services are forced to secure those abortions from providers that put their health and safety at risk.

“I’m 100% pro-choice.”

Marie Newman, Democrat: Yes. Period.

Keith Pekau: “Because the US Supreme Court provides the prevailing ruling on abortions, let’s focus on doing everything we can to make abortion as rare an occurrence as possible. I was adopted 7 years before Roe V. Wade and the most loving act of my life was a 15-year-old girl carrying me to term. The second most loving act was the adoption of two giving and loving parents who were at best lower middle class. Today, it is far too expensive and cumbersome to adopt a child.

“I want to work on making the process of making adoption the preferred option, make it easier and more affordable so that the average American can afford to make that choice.”

Scott Kaspar, Republican: “There is no absolute right to get an abortion. This is a matter that should be handled by the States.”

Niki Conforti, Republican: “Only in the cases of rape, incest and the health of the mother when all else has failed.”

Gary Grasso, Republican: “Yes, to save a mother, in cases of rape/incest. Abortion will not go away if completely outlawed thus, States may decide to allow or ban it. I do not support a federal right to an abortion.”

Charles Hughes, Democrat: “Each situation differant and women UNDERSTAND what right thing to do.I will follow laws as Congressman and will do my best to treat women and there issues with respect.”

U.S. Congress: House, 11th District:

Bill Foster, Democrat: “Yes. I believe that Roe v. Wade is and should remain a matter of settled law, and that women should decide what happens within their own bodies. It is a distressing commentary on the undemocratic nature and behavior of the U.S. Senate that Roe v. Wade is under serious threat, when polling shows that consistently since Roe v Wade was decided, less than 20 percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal across the board. This Congress, I was proud to co-sponsor and vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, to put the right to an abortion in federal statute and prevent states from encroaching upon that right.”

Susan Hathaway-Altman, Republican: “No, every life (which begins at conception) should be allowed to live in the country, based on the U.S. Constitution. The exception to that is where it jeopardizes the mother’s life. I am a Constitutionalist, and I am also a mom (both of my own biological children, as well as an adopted child from a foster care program), and so I understand the emotional side of this. And I truly believe in adoption as well as in the right to life. Thousands of Americans try to adopt each year, and are either never able to, or wait years in order to receive one of these beautiful children into their homes. If you have agreed to the risks of getting pregnant, you should then agree to the miracle of having a baby, and you will still have the absolute best alternative to choose, which is to either keep it and reconsider (which many people do) or to put this wonderful life up for adoption and not only make a parent overjoyed, but also allow that life to achieve to greatness in this wonderful nation.”

Jerry Evans, Republican: “I am 100% pro-life. I believe life begins at conception. I oppose abortion except in cases of the life of the mother.”

U.S. Congress: House, 14th District:

James Marter, Republican: “Every Child has the right to LIFE. There is no Constitutional right to kill the innocent child in a mother’s womb. We need to protect women from the coercive tactics of the abortion industry and provide women all the facts about the risks and life-long psychological effects of taking the life of one’s own child.

“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters” And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” (Mother Teresa)”

Jamie Milton, Republican: “No. Abortion is murder.”

Scott Gryder, Republican: “Life is sacred.”

U.S. Senate:

Matthew Dubiel, Republican: “They shut down the economy to “keep each other safe” from a virus that has a 99.97% survival rate. They closed school, and then masked kids when school resumed. They canceled funerals and weddings. They closed churches. There were about 36,000 total covid deaths in Illinois during Covid, total. Meanwhile each year during covid, Illinois had 45,000+ abortions. Why aren’t we trying to keep everyone safe? Why are you calling it a “right” to get an abortion? I want to protect life. Children need to be protected, no matter how old they are.”

Peggy Hubbard, Republican: “I am pro life, I will protect the unborn.”

Robert Piton, Republican: “The science is overwhelming. A baby inside a woman is a human life, not a “potential human life”. It is fueled by a woman, but it is its “own being”.

“I am in favor of more Sexual Education at “APPROPRIATE AGES”, not the pedophile indoctrination approach that the Radical Left is pursuing.

“I am also in favor of Family First Policies that restore Healthy Family Units.”