Monday, August 22, 2005

Sullivan takes on the Lipinskis on TV tonight

Tonight’s City of Chicago edition of “Public Affairs,” features 3rd Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary candidate John Sullivan [D-Chicago], who is taking on Cong. Dan Lipinski, who is the freshman congressman from the 3rd Cong. Dist. The show airs throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] tonight at 8:30 pm on CANTV, Cable Ch. 21.
See here for more about the topics covered in the show, Sullivan's background and a partial transcript of the show
A partial transcript of tonight’s show in the City with John Sullivan is included below.
Abortion—The Right to Choose?

Jeff Berkowitz: So, you think a woman should have a right to choose whether she’ll have an abortion or not, right?

John Sullivan: I think a woman should have a right to choose, yes.

Partial Birth Abortions:

Berkowitz: …Should there be any constraints whatsoever [on] partial birth abortion that should that be permitted, as well?

John Sullivan: I think I would favor a partial birth ban, with an exception for the life and health of the mother.

Berkowitz: What about parental notice? Should parents be notified of their minor daughter having an abortion, whether she’s twelve years old, thirteen years old, or seventeen years [old]? She’s a minor.

Judicial Bypass:

John Sullivan: Well, see- here’s the problem with the judicial bypass. I mean, in my work as a state’s attorney, I’ve spoken with many victims of rape and incest, and the problem is to ask a thirteen or a fourteen or a fifteen year old girl to go to a father who quite well could have caused this pregnancy-

Berkowitz: Go to her father, why doesn’t she go to a judge?

John Sullivan: Well, that’s exactly what I was going to get to- is-- the judicial bypass, I think, is what we need.

Berkowitz: So, you favor parental notice, require parents to be told unless a judge intervenes when this young lady-- young woman-- a child wants an abortion, they go to a counselor-- the counselor refers them to a judge, the judge decides, should we allow this abortion, and more importantly, if there’s a kid- if there’s an issue of rape, or incest by somebody-- don’t you want the court involved? So, not only should the judge be talking about whether there’s an abortion, but also somebody ought to be looking into whether there’s rape or incest. Don’t just give this young lady an abortion, but also do something about that situation. You don’t want it [rape or incest] to happen again, do you?

John Sullivan: Well, absolutely not. I mean, you know, these are-

Berkowitz: So, you agree with me though? You [don’t want to] just have an abortion and then you send the kid back and see if she gets in the same situation?

John Sullivan: In the same situation, No, absolutely not. You want the—

Berkowitz: So, you want the judge to follow up. Find out what’s going on.

Emergency Contraception:

John Sullivan: You know, society needs to do a better job of providing counseling for women who are put in this situation. We also need to do a better job of providing emergency contraception to women when they end up at a hospital and they’re a victim of rape. Eleven thousand women in this country are-- have an unintended pregnancy because of rape every year. And, many hospitals say they’re still not told that Plan B is-

Berkowitz: What about if it is a hospital-- a Catholic hospital that says it’s against their faith, against their conscience to do so-- is that why? or are there other reasons?

John Sullivan: I think there’s other hospitals. I think a lot of times it’s physicians who just don’t do it, or-

Berkowitz: What if it is the case in a Catholic hospital, should the Catholic hospital have a right not to do it?

John Sullivan: I think-

Berkowitz: You, yourself, are you Catholic?

John Sullivan: I am Catholic, yes. In fact-

Berkowitz; You, you, you don’t mind talking about your faith?

John Sullivan, NO, no, not at all.

Berkowitz: Okay.

John Sullivan: I mean personally I think abortion is abhorrent. I mean, if any member of my family or anyone I knew wanted to have an abortion, I would certainly counsel them not to do it.

Berkowitz: If it were your wife, you would counsel her not to …?
John Sullivan: She [Sullivan's wife, Nicole] does. She’s a pediatric intensive care nurse at the University of Chicago Hospital.

Berkowitz: All right. So, if she, if the two of you had a-- I don’t know how to put it. If your wife wanted to have an abortion, would you tell her, adamantly, no? You’re the man, you’re the husband.

John Sullivan: I don’t think my wife would ever want to have an abortion.

Berkowitz: Okay. But, if she did-- would you take that position, it’s wrong?

John Sullivan: Uh, you know, let’s-

Berkowitz; You can’t-

John Sullivan: How could I even-

Berkowitz: You can’t, she would never want to-

John Sullivan: I can’t even imagine being put in that situation.

Berkowitz: She’s Catholic, as well? Is that right? Okay. But you think a woman basically should have the right to choose. What about, let’s go over to guns. You would say you’re socially conservative [on that issue], or would you? Typically, prosecutors are fairly strong on gun control? Do you fall in that mode?

Assault Weapon Ban:

John Sullivan: I do fall in that mode. And, I think one of the greatest examples of where Congress has failed us lately is the assault weapons ban lapse. It was set to lapse last year-

Berkowitz: It did. It had been law for ten years, and congress didn’t bring it up

John Sullivan: That’s the thing about it and the worst part about it-- I’m not going to sit here and tell you the assault weapons ban is the be all and the end all of gun control legislation--

Berkowitz: But you would have supported it? If you were there, you would have liked to see it [the Federal Assault Weapon Ban] come up and you would have voted “yes?”

John Sullivan: Absolutely.

Berkowitz: To continue the-

John Sullivan: Absolutely, I mean-

Berkowitz: Assault weapons ban.

John Sullivan: There’s no reason to have assault weapons on the street. There’s no reason, and not three or four months after the assault weapons ban lapsed, there’s a child, a fifteen year old child, who was killed, in Chicago Heights, Illinois, by an assault weapon. So, we need to have that debate and we’re not having that debate.

Berkowitz: I think [Cong.] Dan Lipinski has said that he’s, that he would favor renewing the assault weapons ban. [It] didn’t come up so he didn’t have a chance to vote on it.

John Sullivan: Well, he was in a position where he should have been on the House floor speaking about it and bringing it up?

Berkowitz: Do you know if he was, or, was he arguing to bring it up?

John Sullivan: I have no information that he was. No.

John Sullivan, Democratic candidate in the 3rd Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary, recorded on August 7, 2005 and as is airing on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, August 22 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21.
Transcript drafts prepared by Amy Allen, who also does research for “Public Affairs,” and has her own political blog [See here].
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at