Last week, Democrat Alabama State Representative John Rogers made shocking comments on abortion, suggesting that abortion is humane for “unwanted” children because “you kill them now or you kill them later.” On Monday, Rogers told a local radio station that U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who has condemned Rogers’ comments, told him that he believed Rogers was right, but he had to attack the comments publically for political reasons.
“Tell me a little about that conversation with Doug Jones,” Talk 99.5 radio host Matt Murphy said to the state senator.
“Well, he called me twice. He told me, ‘John, I know you’re right but I got to come out against you,'” Rogers confided. He then told the U.S. senator that was acceptable. “I said, ‘Okay,’ I said, ‘If it’s going to help your campaign, do that.’ That’s the kind of guy I am.”
Later, however, Rogers suggested Jones spoke with him again and things got more heated. After Jones yelled at him, Rogers was no longer willing to play along.
“Doug Jones felt like the things that you were saying on the floor were hurting him politically?” Murphy, the talk show host, asked.
“He issued an apology for me,” the state senator said. He went on to complain, “You don’t chastise me … it’s bigger than reelection, what I’m talking about.”
“Look, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this,” Jones told PJM in a statement. “I made my position clear. I thought his remarks were appalling and I told him that I strongly disagreed with him. There is already too much division in our politics and I won’t add to it here. With that, that’s all I’m going to say on this matter.”
John Rogers became infamous for comments he made attacking abortion restrictions in the Cotton State.
“It ought to be a woman’s choice,” he said of abortion. “Some kids are unwanted. So you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, then send them to the electric chair.”
Here’s Democratic state rep. John Rogers opposing an abortion ban in Alabama: “It ought to be a woman’s choice. . . . Some kids are unwanted. So you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, then send them to the electric chair.” pic.twitter.com/WMvTKBWipg
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) May 1, 2019
This comment proved revealing for two reasons. First, Rogers effectively admitted that unborn babies — often called “fetuses” in order to suggest they are not fully human — are alive, so abortion involves killing them, not just getting rid of a “clump of cells.” Second, Rogers dehumanized unwanted children, suggesting that all children of crisis pregnancies will end up as delinquent criminals headed for execution.
In an age of rehabilitation and criminal justice reform, his remarks should be anathema to both parties. Children of crisis pregnancies are human beings with agency, just like everyone else. If they become criminals — much less heinous murderers deserving execution — that is the result of their own actions, and should not be chalked up to their mother’s decision not to get an abortion.
Many people have survived attempted abortions, growing up to be law-abiding citizens and even pro-life activists.
Rogers’ comments reveal how some Democrats think about abortion. They know it involves killing a human being, but they support it anyway, because Democrats assume that it would be better for the “unwanted” if they were never born. They assume such people have no hope, even though many of them have made good lives.
In response to Rogers, Alabama State Senate Republicans put out a statement reaffirming the human dignity of the unborn.
— Alabama Senate GOP (@ALSenateRepubs) May 2, 2019
Yet Rogers’ dehumanizing comments seem to have struck a chord with Doug Jones, the junior senator from Alabama. Jones famously won an election he was supposed to lose due to claims of sexual assault against Republican Roy Moore.
Now Jones will have to explain himself. Is Rogers telling the truth? Did Doug Jones really say the “kill them now or kill them later” comments are “right?” This suggests that Doug Jones knows what he is doing when he supports abortion — he is advocating for the killing of human beings because he assumes it will be better for them if they had never been born.
This article was updated to include a statement from Sen. Jones.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.