Alabama State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) announced a U.S. Senate campaign, challenging Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in the Democratic primary for 2020. Jones was Rogers’ personal attorney. The state representative has become notorious for defending abortion, saying of unwanted babies, “kill them now or kill them later.” He dehumanized unwanted babies, suggesting that their lives would not be worth living and that they would end up in the “electric chair.”
“I am now a candidate for the United States Senate,” Rogers said at the Alabama State House on Tuesday. “I’ve already, I’ve got – I’m running for real. I’m not backing down. I’m a candidate. I’ve already – I asked them to give me $1,000,000 [in campaign pledges to be able to run] and already $500,000 have come in already. And so if I get $500,000 [more], I’ll be an official candidate. I’m telling you right now.”
Sean Ross at Yellowhammer News first reported Rogers’ candidacy. He broke the news on Twitter and shared an audio clip of Rogers’ announcement with PJ Media.
State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham): I am now a candidate for the U.S. Senate#alpolitics
— Sean Ross (@sean_yhn) May 7, 2019
Rogers apologized for using the word “retarded,” but doubled down on his remarks supporting abortion. He admitted that the morning-after pill is an abortifacient — “the same thing” as abortion.” He called a miscarriage “a natural abortion” and argued that there is no difference between a miscarriage and the intentional killing of an unborn baby.
The state representative criticized restrictions on abortion as forcing women to go to “back alleys.”
“When you drive to back alleys, you start using that coat hanger and start using that medication — they can’t afford to get a regular abortion. If you got the money, you can pay somewhere else to get an abortion. If you’ve got enough money, you can fly to New York or Amsterdam to get an abortion. But if you’re a poor person, you can’t get that,” Rogers said.
“So you [have] to use that coat hanger… you’re damaging that fetus. That fetus is damaged, and then you’re forced to have that child? I just read the other day that they had five kids locked in a basement, five kids. Emaciated kids, kids that were tied up in chains in a basement. Why would you want to force a child on that family?” he asked.
Rogers first made a splash when he suggested that it was more humane to kill unwanted unborn babies in the womb than to let them live, have them turn into criminals, and be executed.
“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.”
His comments triggered a loud backlash, including from Sen. Jones, who condemned the remarks as “outrageous.”
“I thought it was outrageous. I was absolutely appalled,” Jones said in a statement. “I didn’t see that until this morning. I have known Representative Rogers for a long, long time. I think he owes an apology to the people of the state. I think he owes an apology to members of the legislature.”
“That is one of the problems with discussing these types of issues. People get emotional and people tend not to respect each other’s opinions as much, and you end up with comments like this. It is very, very unfortunate and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Jones concluded.
Yet on Monday, Rogers claimed that Jones called him up after the comments, telling him that the state representative was right about abortion.
“Well, he called me twice. He told me, ‘John, I know you’re right but I got to come out against you,'” Rogers told Talk 99.5 radio host Matt Murphy. 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.”
In a second call, Jones yelled at Rogers, the state representative said.
In a statement to PJ Media, the sitting senator denied having told Rogers he was correct.
“Look, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this,” Jones told PJ Media 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.”
Rogers attacked Jones on Tuesday.
“Don’t nobody call me on the phone to tell me to be quiet. I don’t care if you’re the president or you[‘re] the senator … the last person that ever chastised me was my mother and my father. And they both passed,” the state representative declared. He said he told Jones “to go where the sun [doesn’t] shine.”
PJ Media reached out to Jones for a statement and will update this report if one is provided.
“Doug Jones and John Rogers share the same views on abortion, but Rogers is at least honest about it,” Nathan Brand, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said in a statement. “Even Alabama Democrats are taking note of how dishonest Doug Jones is.”
John Rogers’s decision to run against his former lawyer in the 2020 U.S. Senate race is monumental, especially since he is refusing to back down or apologize for his abortion remarks. Is this the kind of thing the Democratic Party stands for?
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Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.