Krishnamoorthi, Dargis debate Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade

Democratic congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and Republican challenger Chris Dargis of Palatine strongly disagree on what the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade this summer says about the nation's democratic process.

The candidates for the 8th Congressional District seat in the Nov. 8 election spoke about the decision and other issues Monday with representatives of the Daily Herald's editorial board.

"I think that decision went way off the rails in basically overturning 50 years of settled precedent," Krishnamoorthi said. "Roe v. Wade itself was a compromise carefully crafted to preserve a woman's right to choose and her reproductive freedom. ... And unfortunately the Supreme Court basically overturned that right in one fell swoop."

"You see from the congressman what you hear from most Democrats, which is they think democratic institutions are legitimate when they agree with the outcomes, and they think they're illegitimate when disagree with the outcomes," Dargis countered. "The Dobbs decision was decided by the Supreme Court, and all the Dobbs decision did is to return this issue of abortion, which has been frozen out of the democratic process for 50 years, back to the people."

Dargis said he would never support a total ban on abortion without exception, but neither would he support policies Krishnamoorthi has voted for, such as allowing late-term abortions up to the moment of birth at taxpayer expense.

"Putting this back to state legislatures where we can have debate and discussion is what is going to drive compromise and frankly get us to a point where we respect both of the lives involved and make sure everyone's life is protected in this situation," Dargis said.

Krishnamoorthi said that argument "sends a shiver down everyone's spines, especially the women that I talk to and lot of young men."

"Because our fundamental rights should not be subject to Mr. Dargis or other people's decision-making authority," he said.

Krishnamoorthi said he believes states like Texas, which has banned abortion with narrow health-related exceptions, have male-dominated state legislatures borne from an environment in which women are disempowered.

"I guarantee you that the majority of women in Texas and in other places would never support that, and indeed, Mr. Dargis doesn't even support it," Krishnamoorthi said. "But he's totally OK with Roe v. Wade being overturned and essentially other people's daughters and other women being subjected to the whims of those state legislatures. That's just wrong."

"I don't think it's wrong to respect the law," Dargis said. "And frankly, that's why I don't favor a federal solution to this, specifically because we don't need the people of Texas or Florida or any other state telling the people of Illinois what our laws on this subject should be. I think it's entirely appropriate to have this be in the hands of the state legislature and let the people of Illinois decide for themselves."

Though the 8th District's borders are shifting this year, it remains roughly centered in Schaumburg and includes areas of northwest Cook, northeast DuPage and northeast Kane counties.

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