Wednesday, the Louisiana legislature approved a law that makes it virtually illegal to perform an abortion in the state, unless the life of the mother is threatened.
While many women across the country say abortion is a woman’s choice issue, the fight against abortion in Louisiana includes women and some who are members of the Democratic party.
Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-16) and Rep. Pat Moore (D-17) are examples of women who consider themselves “whole-life” Democrats who support the right to life inside and outside of the womb. Both women legislators vote for Wednesday abortion ban.
Both Jackson and Moore represent areas of Northern Louisiana described as the state’s Bible Belt.
Jackson, a Baptist, and Moore, a Church of Christ member, both have deep-seated religious beliefs that compelled them to stay in step with God even if it means being out of step with the national platform of the Democratic Party. Both denominations teach members that the Bible is literally God’s written word and it teaches that no one has the right to take life except God himself.
Both women have publicly confirmed their belief that life begins at conception and should be respected as a human being in the womb. However, the Supreme Court in the famous Roe vs Wade decision in 1973 does not consider a fetus a human being and grants a pregnant woman the right to choose what to do with the growth in her womb.
Recently, a war of words erupted between Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg over the issue. Thomas opposes all abortions. Ginsburg maintains that a pregnant woman is not a mother. She wrote, “A woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is a not a ‘mother’.”
Rep. Jackson has another law working its way to the governor’s desk, it is a constitutional amendment that spells out that abortion is not a right and the state will not be compelled to fund or support it in any way.
For Jackson, it is a matter of conscience.
Moore, who before being elected to the legislature, conducted Bible studies in her front yard for years. Moore has maintained that “it is better to obey God rather than man.”
Governor John Bel Edwards, also a Democrat, has promised to sign the new law that will make Louisiana the 7th state to pass tough abortion restrictions. His pro-life position has put him at odds with the National Democratic party. He says it is a matter of conscience.
The bill was approved by a 79-23 vote but will only take effect after an appeals court decides the fate of a similar law passed by the Mississippi Legislature.
The wave of anti-abortion laws proposed by Southern and Midwestern states hopes that one will make it through the maze of court appeals and finally land before the U.S. Supreme Court as a challenge to Roe vs Wade. Since most of the Justices on the Supreme Court are now conservative, many hope a test case, such as the Louisiana Law will eventually overturn Roe vs Wade and end legal abortions in the United States.
Both Jackson and Moore, along with many other women legislators in Louisiana, are at peace that they have worked to protect the life of humans in the womb as they also work to improve the rights of humans outside of the womb with access to medical care and needed assistance to care for families.
For them, pro-life means whole life; you can’t have one without the other.