Two GOP candidates in 11th District support federal abortion ban; one says let states decide
Two of the Republicans running for Illinois' 11th Congressional District seat believe abortion should be banned nationally if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the historic Roe v. Wade decision.
A third, however, thinks states should decide the issue for themselves.
Candidates Mark Carroll of North Aurora, Jerry Evans of Warrenville and Susan L. Hathaway-Altman of the Geneva area participated in a Daily Herald group interview Friday, sharing opinions on abortion, the 2020 presidential election and other topics.
Three other candidates -- Andrea Heeg of the Geneva area, Catalina Lauf of Woodstock and Cassandra Tanner Miller of Elgin -- didn't respond to multiple invitations to attend.
Whoever wins the June 28 GOP primary will face Democratic incumbent Bill Foster of Naperville in the Nov. 8 general election.
All three candidates who participated in Friday's interview supported overturning Roe, which effectively legalized abortion across the U.S.
Hathaway-Altman believes states should set their own abortion laws.
"That's where it belongs in the first place," said Hathaway-Altman, a corporate executive and first-time candidate.
Carroll said any state laws allowing abortion should be declared unconstitutional if the Roe decision is overturned.
"To me, it's not a states' rights issue," said Carroll, a North Aurora trustee and an attorney. "No state has the right to regulate the killing of an unborn child."
Evans, a music school owner who ran for the 14th District seat in 2020, also said he believes abortion should be banned nationwide and that the rights of fetuses should be protected by the Constitution. But he said he understands states could decide the issue individually if Roe is reversed.
The candidates' opinions differed distinctly when they were asked about last year's deadly insurgency at the U.S. Capitol.
Evans decried the violence as "wrong, illegal and unpatriotic."
"There's no place for violence in the democratic process," Evans said.
Carroll generally condemned violence against people or property. But he wouldn't acknowledge the Capitol siege was anything more than that.
He compared the events at the Capitol to the takeover of a Seattle neighborhood by protesters in 2020 and to attacks that year on the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon.
"Those were just as egregious as what happened Jan. 6," Carroll said.
Hathaway-Altman responded by proclaiming support for the First Amendment's free speech protections. She also said it's unclear what happened at the Capitol.
Hathaway-Altman said she doesn't trust the raw video and news reports of the riot.
"Unless I see it for myself, I don't believe it," she said. "And this is politically fueled and charged."
Hathaway-Altman said the courts will sort out what happened through the trials of people charged with committing crimes at the Capitol.
The candidates also were asked if they believe President Joe Biden was legitimately and fairly elected. Only Carroll said Biden is the legitimate president -- although he said the election wasn't fair.
Evans and Hathaway-Altman said they didn't know if the election was legitimate.
"I have tremendous concerns," Evans said.
Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 11th District encompasses parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.
Foster is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
A public forum for the GOP candidates is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Batavia's city hall, 100 N. Island Ave. Sponsored by League of Women Voters groups, it will be livestreamed at facebook.com/BATV1017.