Press Release: 2020-07-31

Senate Majority Continues to Push Nominees Who Oppose Abortion

Senate should halt action on all judicial nominees and instead focus on the public health crises facing the country 

Stephen McGlynn and David Dugan have records opposing abortion, making them unfit to protect people’s health and rights

WASHINGTON — Just days after introducing a COVID-19 relief bill that prioritizes corporations over people, Mitch McConnell, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, and the Senate majority are working to confirm more  judicial nominees with records hostile to reproductive rights. This includes two nominees to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen McGlynn and David Dugan, who strongly oppose the constitutional right to abortion. Once again, Sen. McConnell is focused on confirming judges to lifetime positions instead of taking meaningful action to address the dual public health crises of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal judges can set precedents on everything from health care access to voting rights and civil liberties that will have effects for generations, but McConnell and his colleagues continue to push forward judges with records hostile to our health and rights. 

Both McGlynn and Dugan received support from anti-abortion organizations after completing candidate questionnaires indicating opposition to abortion rights for their previous elections to lower courts. In his judicial candidate survey, Dugan wrote that he opposes the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and supports restrictions on abortion access. As co-chairman of the Republican State Central Committee, McGlynn led the development of the Illinois Republican Party’s platform, which included a clear stance against abortion. 

Statement from Anisha Singh, director, judiciary and democracy affairs, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Enough is enough. People are calling on their senators to provide relief from the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession, and the rampant anti-Black violence occurring around the country. Instead, Senate leadership continues to make it a priority to confirm judges for lifetime appointments — many with hostile records on reproductive and civil rights, including abortion. The courts are often the last place harmful legislation or policy affecting our freedoms can be stopped, yet Stephen McGlynn’s and David Dugan’s records demonstrate they will not protect people’s health, rights, or bodily autonomy. If confirmed, they could rule on cases dealing with reproductive rights for decades to come. We call on the Senate to oppose these nominees, halt votes on any upcoming nominees, and instead put the needs of the country first.” 

Additional background on Dugan:

  • In his judicial candidate survey, Dugan wrote that he opposes the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and supports restrictions on abortion access.

  • Dugan received support from Illinois Right to Life Action, an anti-abortion organization, for his 2018 election for the 3rd Circuit Court.

  • Dugan co-founded Illinois Vision 2020, which works to ban all abortions in Illinois.

  • Dugan served as president and legal counsel for a “crisis pregnancy center” called ThriVe Metro East, and formerly Options-Now Medical Pregnancy Center, which provides medically inaccurate information and discourages people from seeking abortion care.

    • Following Dugan’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he further explained his anti-abortion advocacy by disclosing more organizations with which he has been involved and stated, “my involvement has centered around faith-based efforts to reduce or eliminate the need or demand for abortion by providing options, choices and support for young women who might be struggling through the decision.” He also said he has provided his “time, talent and treasure for the protection of children of all ages, including unborn children and their mothers.”

  • Dugan was a member of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from 2014-2016. ADF opposes abortion and is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Additional background on McGlynn:

  • McGlynn received support from multiple anti-abortion organizations during previous elections to lower courts in 2012 and 2014.

    • In 2012, McGlynn was endorsed by the Illinois Citizens for Life PAC. 

    • In 2012, McGlynn was endorsed by Family-PAC, also known as Illinois Family Action, which is classified as a LGBTQ+ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

  • McGlynn led development of the 2004 Illinois Republican Party platform, which included a clear anti-abortion stance.

The Trump administration and Senate Republican leadership continue to reshape the makeup of the courts, with over 200 judges appointed. Learn more about their takeover of the federal judiciary on Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s new website CrisisInTheCourts.com