…and she’s likely to pass it.
The Louisiana House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill 85-6 Monday afternoon that would restrict access to abortion services in the state. The legislation, which generated no discussion or questions on the House floor, now heads to the Louisiana Senate.
Similar laws passed in other states have been used to shut down several abortion providers around the country. Abortion rights advocates have said the proposal, if approved, would immediately close three of Louisiana’s five abortion clinics. Only two facilities in the Shreveport area would be able to meet the new requirements laid out in the bill.
What’s so onerous? The requirement in the bill that the abortionists at the clinics in question have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortuary. In other words, that the abortuary not be a Kermit Gosnell-style abattoir wherein some quack is a heartbeat away from doing more than just killing babies and flushing them down a commode, or saving on his heating bill with the end product.
The bill isn’t actually the Texas abortion bill, as it doesn’t include the part about how you’re not allowed to get an abortion after the point where the fetus is viable outside the womb. But from the standpoint of making it a lot more difficult to keep an abortuary open by law, it’s basically the same thing.
And it’s going to become law. The Senate will treat this bill like royalty and fall all over itself to pass it. Because outside of a few lefties in New Orleans, pro-choice will flat-out get you aborted on Election Day in this state. And since last week the 5th Circuit upheld the Texas abortion law – the one Wendy Davis made herself into the Democrat nominee for governor of Texas despite having precisely zero redeeming qualities for high office other than a telegenic face and a nice wardrobe by filibustering – Jackson is virtually assured of having struck a blow to make abortions essentially illegal in Louisiana outside of Shreveport. Which is going to turn out to be a very big deal for the pro-life movement in this state, and a very bitter pill for pro-choicers to swallow.
As for Jackson, she’s becoming interesting. A freshman House member at this point, she’s been known as Hurricane Katrina thanks to her rather aggressive economic leftism prior to last year (her career LABI score so far is a 22).
But last year things changed. Jackson actually posted a 67 with LABI in the 2013 legislative session; on three key bills about reforms to the legal system last year she was on the business lobby’s side. And this year, she’s co-authoring a bill with Rep. Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge) which would take a big chunk out of the lawsuit-lenders the tort reform lobby says is helping to facilitate an explosion in lawsuits in the state.
Jackson had a 57 score last year with the Louisiana Family Forum, which would make her a rather unlikely carrier of this state’s version of the Texas abortion bill. But if you look at that 57, it’s the way it is because she voted against the Family Forum on three bills that weren’t especially about social issues. One was the bill that created the Southeast Baton Rouge school district, one was about concealed handgun permits and one was about the Medicaid expansion.
Which is not to say that Hurricane Katrina is the next Elbert Guillory coming down the pike. But she’s clearly working to present herself as a member of the Legislative Black Caucus that people who are neither black nor hard Left can actually do business with.
That sounds a lot like a curriculum vitae somebody who’s running for more than re-election to the state House of Representatives next year might have. So what’s she up to?
Our theory? Jackson is going to take a poke at the state senate seat Francis Thompson currently holds. Thompson (who has a 51 score from LABI, but he was only a 32 last year) has one more term left in the Senate, and he represents a district which is 64 percent black. Thompson, who’s a white Democrat, would be extremely vulnerable to a challenge by a black Democrat, and in the event of a strong challenge his only salvation might come from going to the business community and conservative money and raising enough to drown his challenger in dollars.
But with Jackson all of a sudden dropping in three-pointers for the conservative side in the last year, there isn’t a whole lot of reason why the conservative PAC money or conservative endorsements would need to be spent propping Thompson up when she’s as good or better than he is and likely to win the race anyway. He’ll have more money, if for no other reason than that he’s built up a sizable war chest over the years (he showed $718,000 on hand at the end of last year, while she had $3,900), but Jackson can go to all those black churches in the district Thompson has been romancing all this time and play the identity politics angle PLUS talk about how she authored the pro-life bill, and it could be a good enough combination to make that money disadvantage meaningless.
In other words, if you’re Katrina Jackson and you want to beat Thompson out of his seat, this is how you’ll want to go about it. She’s smart, and she’s doing smart things. And one of the state’s last white Democrat politicians is looking increasingly likely to be on his way out of office.