(Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Lott)
A Democratic lawmaker in Louisiana, berated by abortion advocates who accuse her of "waging a war on women" for authoring a pro-life bill that was signed into law by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal last week, believes she's doing her part to end the genocide of the African-American community.
Louisiana state Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, who authored House Bill 388, which requires abortionists to obtain hospital admitting privileges within 30-miles of the clinics in which they practice, believes the law will give women a real choice, the choice of life and the opportunity to contribute to their families and community.
Jackson told The Christian Post this week that during a House Health and Welfare Committee Meeting at the Louisiana capitol on March 19, pro-abortion advocates and abortion clinic employees testified that, among all women, abortion benefits black women the most.
That statement led Jackson to point out to abortion proponents that abortion, which they see as a benefit to the black community, is the leading cause of death among African-Americans, with 13 million killed by abortion since 1973.
"The No. 1 genocide in the African-American community, and why we're becoming a minority of minorities, is because most of our babies are dying in the womb from abortions," Jackson said during the committee meeting.
Jackson told CP that some of those who testified claimed that abortion is a solution to socioeconomic problems within the black community.
"The comments regarding African-American women were that abortion helped them make a choice when they couldn't take care of their child. And I told them that wasn't a cure. If you want to really cure the situation that's going on socioeconomically with everyone, you do that by supporting measures that give people and hand up, and not a handout," she asserted.
"I'm very passionate, especially when you're looking at the African-American community, because those in the pro-choice community have been attempting to sell us on abortion being a way out for women who can't afford to have their baby," Jackson said.
The Louisiana House voted 88-5 for final passage of Jackson's bill, which had 50 co-authors and received overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats. According to NOLA.com, only five of the 105 state representatives and three of the 39 senators voted against the final version of the bill.
In addition to requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of the clinics in which they practice, Jackson's bill also requires a 24-hour waiting period for both medical (abortion pills) and surgical abortions.
Republican Gov. of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, signed two pro-life bills into law last week during a signing ceremony at the First Baptist Church of West Monroe: Jackson's HB 388 and HB 305, sponsored by Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, which prohibits abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, from going into public and charter schools to distribute their information or talk to students about sex education, birth control and abortion.
There are five abortion clinics in Louisiana, two in Shreveport, one in Baton Rouge and two in New Orleans.
Jackson told CP that each of the five abortion clinics in Louisiana has two or three hospitals located within a 30-mile radius, which is required under the new law. Two other clinics, however, where shut down because they were not located within 30 miles of a hospital.
During the process of conducting research and interviewing people about the impact of HB 388, Jackson said that while two abortionists who work at the Shreveport clinics already have hospital admitting privileges, she was alarmed to discover that, when asked, a majority of abortionists opted to not apply for admitting privileges, which would benefit their patients in cases of emergency.
"When I first looked at the law I never understood why we had relaxed these requirements for those performing abortions," Jackson commented. "I don't think a woman goes into an abortion clinic realizing that the physician who's performing the surgical abortion doesn't have the ability, like other physicians, to pick up the phone and call the hospital and admit them when a complication happens."
HB 388, according to Jackson, ensures that women who choose to have an abortion will have a continuity of care in cases of emergency in which they must be transported to a hospital.
Jackson noted that the law merely puts the same requirements in place that other surgical physicians and their medical facilities must abide by. "In Louisiana, clinics that are set up to perform surgeries, regardless of how minor they are, have to be within a certain mile radius of a hospital, and that's what we've done with abortion clinics."
Many abortionists and abortion advocates have claimed that the new law will close more abortion facilities in Louisiana because some abortionists cannot meet the requirements to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital.
In response to that concern, Jackson asserts that this is a women's health issue, and women should be receiving medical care from qualified doctors who can obtain hospital admitting privileges, instead of those who can't meet those standards.
Jackson said that Texas' HB 2 revealed that many abortionists could not meet the qualifications to work at area hospitals.
"That's a serious issue. And that's why I think it displayed in Texas why a law is really needed — to determine whether or not we had physicians performing surgical procedures that weren't qualified or couldn't meet qualifications that are set by the state of Texas," she said.
Jackson also explained that her pro-life stance encompasses a person's whole life, which is why she said she supports the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," as well as other government programs that she sees as giving people and hand up and not and handout.
"Being pro-life, for me, means being pro-life all the way, that's why I support the [Affordable Care Act] and other acts that give greater access to healthcare, as well as supporting jobs programs," she said.
"So many times, as elected officials, we run on the American dream, giving people a piece of what all Americans hope for. I think we have to become committed to that," she said.
"I am pro-life, and even as an African-American Democrat, I'm pro-life. I think that we have to begin to care for the whole person. Instead of seeing the pro-life movement as taking choices away, I see the pro-life movement as making sure the person has a choice of life, and a good life, for them and their children," Jackson continued.
"I believe that we should advocate for approaches that solve the socioeconomic problems that drive women to have abortions. I think that as we come together in Louisiana, we will see more women who won't have to make that choice. They can be pro-life and they can stand and have their children and have a good life. And by giving people a hand up, they can be productive members of society, put food on the table for the children and their families, and find employment with good wages."