The following is a reprint of an article that originally appeared in the Washington Examiner. The original article can be found here.

Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Chris Butler blasted his party for ignoring the legacy of civil rights leaders and pushing people out amid debate over the anticipated Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Among approximately 20 Democrats who have vied to replace retiring Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush in the state's 1st Congressional District, Butler has distinguished himself with his stance on abortion.

Butler told Fox & Friends Thursday that there are Democrats who believe in alternatives to abortion.

“I think we have to make room in this party for folks who understand that the fundamental right to make the decision of when and where you are going to have a baby is a real freedom that we need to protect,” Butler said. “Offering an abortion is just not the way protect that freedom.”

Instead, the congressional candidate suggested policy reforms that would enforce a culture of consent, decrease domestic violence, and close income and wealth gaps between men and women.

Butler, who is also a pastor, suggested it is crazy to use anything other than the word “baby” when discussing a pregnancy.

“I can tell you, I’ve never had a woman come into my office,” he noted, “and say, ‘I have got a clump of cells, you know, developing in my tummy.’ People come and say, ‘I’m going to have a baby, pastor.’”

Butler said he is choosing to stick with the Democratic Party rather than become a Republican, noting, “This is where I learned my values.”

“People, like me, have spent their literal blood, sweat, and tears building up this party,” Butler said. “And I don’t think we should just let ourselves be pushed out of the party.”

“We shouldn’t just ignore the legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer and Frederick Douglass and the work of the Church of God in Christ, the largest black denomination in the United States today,” he added. “We can’t say, 'There is no room for you in the party.'”

Butler said change is needed and will come when people are willing to have conversations with those who might disagree on a topic such as abortion.

Myriam Diallo

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1 Corinthians 10:31 ✝️ | Wife of Faa | Sorry excuse for a 🇫🇷 🇩🇿 🇨🇮 | 🌲 '19 | #WholeLife advocate | working on a podcast: @the_colp