Pro-Life Advocate Sen. Mike Cross Dies
Former Baker Mayor and State Sen. Mike Cross passed away Nov. 18 after a battle with cancer.
Cross, who was the father of six, served on the Baker City Council for four years, as mayor for five years, and in the Louisiana Senate for nearly 16 years. He was one of the last of the conservative Democrats to serve in the Louisiana Legislature.
Cross gained national recognition for his efforts to protect unborn children. He was the lead Senate author of the Human Life Amendment, which protected all human life from the moment of conception.
He was one of the most popular senators among his colleagues and was known for his easy smile and quick wit. The fact that he was a Democrat who was popular with other senators made it difficult for political opponents to marginalize him.
Although not an attorney, he had an attorney’s mind and spent great effort to learn the in’s and out’s of the legal issues on important bills. As a result, he stood toe to toe with the best lawyers in the Senate and often outmaneuvered them.
He was also a passionate supporter of home schooling. He and his
wife Kristie home school-
ed their own children and felt every parent should have that right.
Coming from North Baton Rouge, he was an ardent defender of the ordinary citizen, the blue collar worker, and the small business owner. He was never too busy to spend time with those who needed his help, both when he was in public office and after he left public service.
He was a passionate Christian who loved the Lord and was always trying to make sure he lived life the way he was supposed to. And he was constantly inspired and encouraged by his pastor and neighbor, Larry Stockstill.
After leaving the legislature, he represented the Louisiana Municipal Association and CLECO. This allowed him to do much of his work at home, which made him happy because his family was the center of his life.
Cross’ bill on the right to life prohibited abortion except to save the life of the mother. It purposely made no exception for rape or incest. He said that understanding the rape and incest exception is the key to winning the constitutional debate on abortion.
He said, “The U.S. Constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. The key question is who is a ‘person’?”
“Being a civil law jurisdiction, Louisiana law has always answered that question clearly and unequivocally. The Louisiana Civil Code of 1820 said, ‘The unborn child in the mother’s womb is a person for all purposes from the moment of conception.’ That was 1820, and they had it right.”
“Under Louisiana’s civil law, the unborn is a legal person with rights. Our entire case is that the unborn child is a legal person. You cannot say, oh, unless of course, someone says they were raped. That was the very essence of the Roe v. Wade case. Jane Roe claimed she was raped. Then in 1987, she admitted she wasn’t raped. The principle here is that no one can be deprived of life without due process of law. The personhood of the unborn child is the key to winning the abortion debate in the courts and in the court of public opinion.”
He is survived by his wife Kristie, four sons, Shane Michael, Clifton Lance, Ryan Michael, and Matthew, and two daughters, Lauren Adrianne and Christen Joanna.
Editor’s Note: I had the pleasure of serving with Mike Cross in the legislature and working closely with him on pro-life legislation.
I never knew a man more able and true or more courageous. He was willing to sacrifice everything to do what was right, especially when it came to children.
Whatever the cause or the battle, he was capable, fearless, and tireless He also made each battle fun and interesting.
He had his priorities right: Home and family, God and country.
He had no fear of dying, because he had read the end of the book.
There’s one more star in the heavens now, shining down on us.
— Woody Jenkins