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Illinois anti-abortion groups back Bailey campaign for governor

Sen. Darren Bailey received endorsements from Illinois anti-abortion organizations on April 21,...
Sen. Darren Bailey received endorsements from Illinois anti-abortion organizations on April 21, 2022, at Trump Tower in Chicago.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 3:32 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) received a major endorsement Thursday in his campaign to become the next governor of Illinois. The state’s top three anti-abortion organizations are now backing his campaign.

This is a key endorsement in the battle between a large list of Republican candidates for governor. That group includes Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan, businessman Gary Rabine, and former state senator Paul Schimpf. Bailey’s campaign hopes this endorsement will help land him on the ballot against Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November.

The Illinois Federation for Right to Life, Illinois Citizens For Life, and Illinois Family Action joined the downstate Republican for the announcement at Trump Tower. Advocates say Bailey has shown a strong commitment to life and is unafraid to speak about his opinions on abortion.

They feel Bailey and running mate Stephanie Trussell are running a strong campaign, drawing on support from anti-abortion advocates across the state.

“They have put together the people, grassroots support, and financial resources to make them very viable candidates to win in November, to defeat a radically anti-life incumbent governor JB Pritzker,” said Ralph Rivera, Illinois Right to Life Action chairman.

Pastor James Pittman with Illinois Family Action said Bailey stands with parents who “know better than the state about what’s best for their children.”

“Darren Bailey supports fairness in women’s and girls sports and privacy in restrooms and locker rooms,” Pittman said. “We believe that Darren Bailey knows the difference between boys and girls. And yes, Darren Bailey is a pro-life voice as a governor. And he will make the protection of women and their babies a priority.”

Bailey told supporters the unborn in Illinois need someone fighting for them in the governor’s office. He also criticized Democrats for rescinding the parental right of notification of abortion law last year. Bailey said he would fight to restore parental rights and stop taxpayer-funded abortion if he becomes governor.

Bailey said, if elected governor in a state with Democratic control in both legislative chambers, he will continue to let people know about different options and what the future could be.

“I’ve got a lot of friends on the other side of the aisle,” Bailey said. “And I believe that they will have a sense of freedom when there is a Republican governor who is elected that will bring everyone to the table and talk about life for Illinois in all aspects.”

Bailey also said he doesn’t personally consider procedures to save the life of a mother to be abortion because there is a choice of life. The candidate clarified that he would lean toward saving the mother in that case.

The Pritzker campaign quickly responded to the announcement Thursday. Communications Director Natalie Edelstein said Bailey continues to prove he is far too conservative to lead Illinois.

“His long record of attacking reproductive freedoms and women’s bodily autonomy poses an existential threat to families in every corner of Illinois,” Edelstein said. “As GOP extremists try to drag us backwards, Gov. Pritzker is focused on protecting a woman’s right to choose, bolstering access to vital health care, and ensuring Illinois remains a safe haven for women everywhere.”

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