(The Daily Signal) Earlier this year, Sen.-elect. Katrina Jackson spoke at the March for Life. Now the Louisiana politician joins the podcast to share why she is pro-life, and what she thinks about the left and pro-lifers. Read the lightly edited interview, pasted below, or listen on the podcast:
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Kate Trinko: I’m joined today by Sen.-elect Katrina Jackson of Louisiana. Sen. Jackson, thanks for joining us.
Sen.-elect Katrina Jackson: Thanks for having me.
Trinko: First off, you’ve become very famous, I would say, for being pro-life. You spoke at the March for Life this year. Tell me, why are you pro-life?
Jackson: Because God tells us to be. It was as simple as that for me, probably at 25 or 26 years old. I tell everyone that I was finally away from home in law school when I was about 23, 24 and joined a wonderful church. A home away from home, because I had a wonderful church at home and just got more into the word of God.
We ran midweek service one night and got to the Book of Proverbs and said, “God hated the shedding of innocent blood.” I’m really breaking it down. It was the first time that Scripture was addressed in the area of abortion and really broken down. What’s more innocent than a baby’s life? I said, “Anything that God hates, I’m going to hate.”
Trinko: Had you identified as pro-choice before that?
Jackson: I didn’t identify as anything. It wasn’t a real big issue in my hometown. It had not been discussed.
Trinko: Yeah, OK. You are also a Democrat?
Trinko: The Democratic Party is not known for being the most open to pro-lifers. So how has your experience been?
Jackson: Well, first, in Louisiana it is—not the party itself, but most of the elected officials in the state House and Senate that are Democrats are pro-life. Basically in Louisiana, really a lot of us base our politics on our family values, our Christian values, things that we were taught at home, things that we were taught in church every Sunday. So you would find a lot of us [are pro-life,] like our governor, John Bel Edwards, is pro-life. So it’s been a wonderful experience.
Now you have pockets of Louisiana … [where] Democrats are not pro-life. Sometimes that can be difficult in the sense of I’ve gone into New Orleans and other areas to do speeches and had to have security for six months until things kind of leveled out. But overall, even traveling around the country, I engage Democrats all the time.
I’m a pro-life, … pro-Medicaid expansion Democrat. So they say, “Well, how can you get it right on all these issues?” I said, “Because I don’t do party politics.”
At the end of the day, I’m a Christian before I’m anything. I’ve been real clear on that. I said, ” … Before I was black, before I was white, before I was Democrat or Republican, I wanted to be identified as a Christian.” So that’s every day the goal I wake up with is to identify with God first. So it’s just been easy in that sense.
Now, advocacy and breaking the mold nationally is a different animal in and of itself, but even there, people think that most of the elected officials that are Democrats would be antagonistic. I hadn’t experienced a lot of antagonistic … confusion amongst elected officials. We have conversations about it, we talk about it. Sometimes you convert them.
Trinko: That’s wonderful. … I think there are a lot of people on the left who are pro-life and are very frustrated that there aren’t more people like you out there. Do people approach you or do you know if people say like they wish the Democratic Party and the left in general was more open on this issue? I guess outside of Louisiana where it sounds like they are.
Jackson: Well, no, the Democratic Party in Louisiana has adopted the pro-choice platform. The party itself, not most of the elected officials in the House and the Senate. Yes, to answer your question, yes. Even in the last presidential elections, people talked more about, “Why wasn’t there a Democrat who identified with being pro-life and what we call more of the Christian values?” You’re facing that right now during this time.
The bottom line is … that we have a Democrat for Life organization that’s national [and] it is bringing us together like never before. You are seeing that arm of the Democratic Party who is pro-life coming forth. Conversations are being had regarding presidential elections and everything else on why do we not see Democrats on the ballot who share our values.
That is something that’s being pushed more. Around the country, nonelected officials or those who are not even involved in Democrats for Life talk about it.
I can sit in church and I can go to my local church and on program. One of the mothers of the church will tap me on the knee and say, “You know what, baby? Good for you that you didn’t let politics change you. Good for you that you didn’t let politics persuade you to go against God.” It happens every day.
I get calls from people in my district, in Louisiana, outside of my district. I get emails. It starts with, “I am a Democrat. I believe in helping people, but I also believe in following the will of God.” So yeah, it’s being talked about. It’s just not by elected officials or those who are involved in politics. It’s been talked about by a number of Democrats around this country.
Editor’s Note: This article was published at the Daily Signal and is reprinted here with permission.
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