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Tags: dick durbin | mike lee | democrats | abortion | supreme court | pivot | flip flop

Dem Sen. Durbin Explains Flip From 1989 Anti-abortion Letter

dick durbin speaks from a senate committee he chairs with his name plate before him
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. (Drew Angerer/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 July 2022 03:00 PM EDT

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, now says he is "pro-choice" despite penning a 1989 letter to a constituent while he was in the House of Representatives, calling for 1973's Roe v. Wade decision to be reversed and an end to "abortion on demand."

"I sat down with two young women who were about to turn 18 — one a victim of incest, one a victim of rape — and they told me their stories," The Hill reported the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate saying during a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. "I didn't ask them to, but they wanted to tell me.

"I left that meeting with a kind of understanding that I had never had before about the complexity of the decision behind the abortion procedure."

Durbin's explanation came after committee member Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, entered a 1989 letter Durbin wrote expressing his desire to see Roe overturned, and wanting to make sure that federal funds did not go to pay for elective abortions for federal employees and Medicaid recipients.

"I believe we should end abortion on demand, and at every opportunity I have translated this belief into votes in the House of Representatives," Durbin wrote in the letter to his constituent. "I am opposed to the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and will continue to support amendments to prohibit funding of elective abortions for federal employees and Medicaid recipients. I continue to believe the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade should be reversed."

Lee entered the letter into the congressional record and made the point that other Democrats in Congress used to hold the same view.

"The doomsday calls from those on the left are ignoring common sense," The Hill reported Lee said. "They're ignoring what human instinct tells us about protecting the most vulnerable among us. Members of this committee, including some who are now attacking the Dobbs decision, once shared these views."

When a leaked draft of the high court's ruling overruling Roe sparked protests in front of the homes of the conservative justices in May, Durbin condemned the protesters in a CNN interview, The Hill reported at the time.

"I think it's reprehensible," he said. "Stay away from homes and families of elected officials and members of the court. You can express yourself, exercise your First Amendment rights, but to go after them at their homes, to do anything of a threatening nature, certainly anything violent, is absolutely reprehensible."

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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, now says he is "pro-choice" despite penning a 1989 letter to a constituent while he was in the House of Representatives, calling for 1973's Roe v. Wade decision to be reversed and an end to "abortion on demand."
dick durbin, mike lee, democrats, abortion, supreme court, pivot, flip flop, senate, judiciary
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2022-00-12
Tuesday, 12 July 2022 03:00 PM
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