He remembers having several pro-life, Democratic colleagues during his first years in the House.
"I was still in the minority, but I always like to point out to people that back in 2009, the first time the Affordable Care Act - or Obamacare - passed the House, there was the Stupak–Pitts Amendment."
The Stupack-Pitts Amendment prevented taxpayer dollars from being spent on elective abortion or insurance that covered elective abortion, and Lipinski said 64 Democrats voted for it.
"I think there may be a handful, a small handful, of Democrats who would support that in the House today," he said. "With my loss last year and Collin Peterson in Minnesota, there really are no Democrats left that are 100% pro-life."
"I'm very concerned about the direction the party has gone when it comes to the abortion issue, when it comes to family issues, protection of religious liberty," he said. "The party really needs to … at the very least recognize people who are pro-life and respect their position, and at the very least not support taxpayer funding of abortion."
Lipinski lost his seat last March in a primary race against Marie Newman, after pro-abortion groups contributed to a coalition giving more than $1.4 million in funding to Newman.
The congressman said the night he knew he lost the primary was difficult for him. But he actually remembers the next day best.
"The next day I had people contacting me and thanking me for standing up for my principles, staying true to my Catholic faith, and I knew that God was calling me to something bigger," he said.
Lipinski said he is working on a book about being Catholic in the public square today, "and encouraging Catholics to stay true to their Catholic faith in a world right now that's very tough and a very bipolar, tribal society where Catholics don't fit in neatly to either two tribes."
The book is an extension of a commencement address he delivered at Ave Maria University in 2019.
"As a former college professor, I especially want to reach out to young Catholics. I think these days, especially," Lipinski said. "They need to have good examples, and they're really thirsting for a better understanding of what it means to be Catholic, and encouragement to be Catholic."
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"We are a very divided country right now. Catholics don't fit neatly into either party. I think that Catholics have really an opportunity to be a witness for every aspect of Catholic social teaching," he said. "Obviously, the right to life is the most important, but the dignity of every individual, and what the government can do to uphold that dignity in a lot of different ways."
This interview originally aired on Catholic News Agency's podcast, CNA Newsroom. It has been adapted for print.