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updated: 1/12/2010 9:48 AM

8th District hopefuls split on abortion ban

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  • Dirk Beveridge

    Dirk Beveridge


Although they all personally oppose abortion, the six Republicans running for the suburban 8th District congressional seat vary on whether the procedure should be outlawed.

Some oppose abortion in all cases, while others say it's permissible if the mother's health is at risk or in cases of rape or incest. One believes it should be legal in the first trimester of a pregnancy.

The candidates spoke about abortion and other issues in questionnaires for the Daily Herald and in follow-up interviews.

Seeking the GOP nomination are: Dirk Beveridge of Barrington, John Dawson of Barrington, Chris Geissler of Barrington, Greg Jacobs of Mundelein, Maria Rodriguez of Long Grove and Joe Walsh of Winnetka.

Incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean of Barrington is seeking re-election. Democrat Jonathan Farnick of Woodstock is running as a write-in candidate. Green Party candidate Bill Scheurer of Lindenhurst is running, too.

Only the Republicans, however, were asked to talk about these issues ahead of the Feb. 2 primary election.

Beveridge, a business owner, believes abortion should be legal only in cases of rape or incest or if the mother's life is in danger.

If elected, he would oppose laws allowing children to seek abortions without parental notification.

Dawson, a business owner and former suburban school board member, believes abortions should be legal in the first trimester of a pregnancy but not later.

"It is not the federal government's place to tell a woman what she can do with her body in the first trimester," Dawson explained. "The choice is between the mother, her religious beliefs and trusted advisers."

Likewise, Dawson would oppose any constitutional amendment banning abortion because religions have different "moral conclusions" regarding the procedure.

"Putting policy before religion is contrary to the First Amendment," Dawson said.

Geissler, a manager with a consulting firm, said he opposes abortion in all situations.

"When health is at risk, physician and patient should thoroughly investigate the options and proceed making every effort to preserve life," he said.

Walsh, a venture capitalist, also opposes abortion in all circumstances.

"I believe that life begins at conception and it is never permissible to purposefully take an innocent life," he said.

Jacobs, a retired Cook County sheriff's deputy, said rape, incest or when the mother's life is at risk are the only situations in which abortion should be legal.

Rodriguez, the village president in Long Grove, believes abortions should only be legal when the mother's life is at risk.

The 8th District includes parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties. The seat carries a two-year term.