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Foster, Lauf on opposite sides of abortion debate

Democratic US Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville and Republican challenger Catalina Lauf of Woodstock are on opposite sides of the abortion debate.

Foster, a former business owner and physicist who has represented Illinois’ 11th District since 2013, believes women should have the legal right to have abortions anywhere in the US

Lauf, an adviser for a children’s nutrition company who worked at the US Commerce Department under former President Donald Trump, has favored limiting legal abortions and backed restrictions on federal abortion funding.

Foster spoke about abortion and other issues in a recent online conversation with the Daily Herald. Lauf was invited to participate but didn’t respond. She has shared feelings about abortion in previous interviews and campaign communications but scrubbed references from her website this summer.

In his interview, Foster described himself as a “strong supporter” of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that, until recently, guaranteed a woman’s right to have an abortion in any state.

A US Supreme Court ruling this summer struck down that decision, and some states have since taken steps to ban or restrict abortions. Foster called the court’s ruling “a tragedy.”

Foster fears the right-leaning court could target reproductive care “and the right to marry who you please.”

“This is not what the American people want,” he said.

This summer, Foster supported the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would make abortion legal across the country. He also voted for the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, which would protect women who travel across state lines for reproductive health care.

Both bills cleared the House and awaited action in the Senate.

Lauf has opposed allowing women to choose to have abortions.

During her first bid for Congress in 2020, when she unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination in the 14th District, Lauf said she was against “any legislation that would be proposed on a federal level for funding contraception or abortion measures.”

Additionally, Lauf’s campaign website for her current race once proclaimed she was a “vocal opponent of the Left’s radical position in support of late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion, and infanticide.”

But after winning the 11th District GOP primary in June, Lauf removed a section about her stance on abortion from the site. The missing text can be found on the nonpartisan Ballotpedia website.

So, in a May Facebook post, Lauf said Democrats in Washington have an extreme stance on abortion.

“They’re fighting for unregulated late-term and partial-birth abortion,” she wrote. “It’s barbaric and radical.”

Redrawn for this election, the 11th District encompasses parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.

Election Day is Nov. 8. Early voting has begun.

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