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

WASHINGTON — Just days after forcing a vote on an inadequate COVID-19 relief bill, Senator Mitch McConnell and the Senate majority today confirmed more judicial nominees with records hostile to reproductive rights and health care access. Two new judges on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen McGlynn and David Dugan, oppose the constitutional right to abortion. Federal judges like these can and will set precedents on health care access that will have effects for generations. Once again, Sen. McConnell is prioritizing his quest to appoint conservative federal judges instead of taking meaningful action to address the dual public health crises of systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

“Today’s vote should never have even happened. 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. And yet, the Senate majority continues to prioritize confirming 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 are more likely to be threats to people’s health, rights, and bodily autonomy. We call on the Senate to immediately halt votes on any upcoming nominees, and instead put the needs of the country first.” 

Both McGlynn and Dugan received support from anti-abortion organizations during their previous elections to state courts, after completing candidate questionnaires indicating opposition to abortion rights. 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. 

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 of Illinois.

  • 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


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


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