State Rep. Katrina Jackson is pro-life, pro-woman

Her name is Katrina Jackson, and even if you haven’t heard much about her until now, it’s a safe bet you will. CNN has. So has the New York Times.

Katrina Jackson was born well before the worst natural disaster in U.S. history made her first name radioactive in Louisiana.

But the Democratic state representative from Monroe believes she was born at exactly the right time and in exactly the right state to oppose with every fiber of her being – as a woman, as an African American, as an attorney, as a pro-life Democrat and as a Christian – the worst social evil to befall U.S. civilization since slavery.

That evil is the legalized taking of innocent, unborn human life.

Jackson was the lead author of a bill that sailed through the Louisiana Legislature requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic – just in case something goes wrong, beyond the taking of a defenseless human life, of course.

That “standard of care” exists for other outpatient, surgical facilities. If a patient has complications from surgery, it is both prudent and logical for a doctor to be able to admit the patient to a higher-level healthcare facility.

Jackson’s bill, which closely tracks a Texas law that recently was upheld as constitutional by a unanimous, three-woman panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, romped home 85-6 in the House and 34-3 in the Senate. It sits on the desk of Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has said he will sign it into law. That symbolic ceremony may even come in Monroe, where Jackson attends a Baptist church.

“These issues just don’t fall into my lap,” Jackson said last week from Baton Rouge. “I believe they are led by God, and you do what God calls you to do. I will always be pro-life. It’s not a question of opportunity or being Democrat or Republican. It not a question of an agenda. It’s about always standing for the things of good. That’s what I told my district when I ran.”

Dorinda Bordlee, a local pro-life attorney who represents the Bioethics Defense Fund, worked hard to craft a bill that would meet constitutional muster. Then, before the legislative session opened, Bordlee met with Jackson, who also serves as head of the Louisiana Black Legislative Caucus, to see if she would be the lead sponsor.

Jackson did not blink.

“She’s been unapologetic about her stance for women and children, despite attacks from Planned Parenthood and other national, pro-abortion groups,” Bordlee said. “She has been heroic. She knew she would take heat from people who would make assumptions about her because she is a black woman and a Democrat. It’s amazing to see the leadership she showed in bringing together the legislative body and transcending the lines of race, gender and politics.”

Jackson said the bill made sense to her because it was “pro-woman,” advocating a standard of care for women who “make the unfortunate decision” to have an abortion.

“Those things are constitutional, but I don’t agree with them,” Jackson said. “I pray for the day that abortion is no longer constitutional, but until such a day, God loves all of us. So, the women who make that unfortunate decision, their health should be protected.”

Jackson said she received testimony from women that botched abortions left them unable to have children. “I don’t want this to be a consequence for a person who makes what I consider to be a bad decision,” she said.

Sometimes people will criticize her pro-life position because not having access to abortion would force poor women to bring children into the world for whom they cannot properly care.

“You don’t solve a socio-economic problem by making abortion legal,” Jackson said. “Your argument is flawed. Abortion is not a cure. It’s like putting a Band-Aid on something. We need to be legislating in areas that give women the opportunity to come out of that level of poverty. Why don’t we support equal pay for women? Why don’t we support higher education bills and public education? That’s where the cure is. To be pro-life is to care for the whole person.”

Jackson said if the day comes that the law is challenged in court, she will be there.

“I’m willing to stand alongside Dorinda and others to defend the bill in court as an attorney,” Jackson said. “That would be one of my greatest joys to do so. When I can go into the courtroom and defend my faith, that will be a great day.”

Peter Finney Jr. can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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