BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge John deGravelles in Louisiana quietly changed the trial date for a challenge to a much-discussed state pro-life law – arbitrarily allowing abortion providers three additional months to secure proper licensing, while their clinics remain open.
Passed by large majorities in the State Legislature, the pro-life law was first introduced by State Representative Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) to combat what she calls “the number one genocide in the African-American community: abortion.”
State Rep. Katrina Jackson (left) at a government hearing in Louisiana (Photo via Facebook)
With a boldness that captured the nation, in 2013 Louisiana State Rep. Katrina Jackson introduced The Unsafe Abortion Protection Act – ultimately signed by Governor Bobby Jindal on June 12, 2014 as Act 620.
The common sense law, supported by Louisiana Right to Life among others, requires abortion providers have “active admitting privileges” at a local hospital and includes an informed consent provision to ensure women are made aware of medical risks associated with abortion. Additionally, Act 620 requires doctors who perform more than five abortions a year to maintain proper licensing and receive inspections.
Rep. Jackson, a female African-American Democrat, pressed through substantial criticism from the pro-choice community to see this legislation passed. Persevering through it all, her devotion to protecting the lives of both mothers and pre-born children has been unshakeable.
In one committee hearing, Jackson stated without hesitation: “The number one 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.”
Ultimately, Louisiana’s elected leaders overwhelmingly supported Act 620 – enacted by an 85-6 vote in the Louisiana House and 34-3 vote in the State Senate.
However, two months later a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order in connection with the lawsuit June Medical Services v. Caldwell filed by an out-of-state pro-choice special interest group.
Judge John deGravelles’ order allowed abortionists awaiting admitting privileges to continue performing abortions… until hospitals reach a decision on their applications. This means abortions have continued with the same poor health standards as before. On Monday, the court revised its calendar to allow abortion providers three additional months to secure hospital admitting privileges.
“Based on this move and the preliminary ruling, it seems this judge is predisposed to favor the pro-abortion side,” said pro-family legal advocate Allan Parker in an interview with Bound4LIFE.
“However, it is legally within his discretion to grant more time,” Parker continued. “It is probable that, if this case reaches the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, they will uphold this law which passed by large majorities and represents the will of Louisianans on this issue.”
Photo: Kenneth Murphy / Flickr
As policy experts noted during the law’s drafting, Act 620 recognizes abortion as an extremely risky procedure – not only terminating a baby’s life, but requiring specialized medical attention for the mother.
Thus, the law holds abortionists to the same standards as other surgeons in Louisiana. Currently, abortion centers performing fewer than 60 abortions per year are exempt from most health and safety inspections.
Because it is the right of every woman to be protected, every center is held to high safety standards under Act 620 (which includes tracking how many abortions occur with medical complications).
As the abortion industry has masked the disturbing reality of abortion, Act 620 requires that women understand what they are giving permission to and the dangers that accompany abortion – whether surgical or an RU-486 chemical abortion. Mothers considering abortion must be given a 24-hour waiting period to contemplate their decision.
These safeguards include a Department of Health booklet that shows in detail the unborn child’s week-by-week development, short- and long-term medical risks of abortion, explanation of the procedures used to terminate the pregnancy, and information on adoption agencies ready to accept the pre-born child.
Soon the State of Louisiana approaches the judge’s revised deadline for these abortionists to have secured hospital admitting privileges.
As of today, only one of the abortionists (Rashonda Dean) has been given privileges at Touro Hospital in New Orleans. The only other provider in Louisiana who currently has admittance privileges is one of two doctors at an abortion center in Shreveport.
Judge deGravelles has now set June 22 as the trial date for June Medical Services v. Caldwell. Join us at Bound4LIFE Louisiana in praying for the will of Louisiana’s people to move forward – for Act 620 to go into full effect with no further delays or restraining orders.
Gov. Bobby Jindal introduces Rep. Katrina Jackson at the pro-life bill signing (LRTL / YouTube)
When this law is upheld without restraint, it appears that three of Louisiana’s five abortion centers will shut down. While defending pre-born babies and welcoming them into life is an effort that will continue, this is a significant milestone that brings our state closer to being abortion-free.
Louisiana means land of the “famous warrior.” In Representative Katrina Jackson, our state has seen an unlikely warrior – like Gideon, one who has gathered together a coalition of people to stand courageously (see Judges 6-7).
“I’ve been so pleased to work with the Governor,” said Rep. Jackson at the bill signing on June 12, 2014. “And others all across this state to transcend party and racial lines – to lead by faith. That is the most important thing we can do for you as legislators.”
As Jackson’s pro-life law goes back to court soon, my prayer for Louisiana is: “The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior! May lives be saved through a legal victory.”
Join us in the call to prayer, that this will be the generation to abolish abortion. May the pro-life advances in Louisiana light a blazing fire that spreads up the Mississippi River and throughout the nation. Nothing is impossible with God!
Updated 3/27/15: Louisiana Right to Life provided the following statement regarding this case and its status: ”Louisiana Right to Life believes we have good reason to remain cautiously optimistic about the litigation. We do not see the delay of the trial date as anything other than the court wanting to be very thorough and deliberate in its handling of the parties’ pre-trial motions, including the state’s motion for partial summary judgment. We hope and believe Judge deGravelles is carefully considering the state’s arguments.”