An Alabama Democratic representative who made shocking comments about abortion declined to apologize for the remarks, instead going after one of his critics, President Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr..
State Rep. John Rogers spoke on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives on April 29 during a debate over a bill that would restrict abortions in the state.
“Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later,” he said. “Some parents can’t handle a child with problems. It could be retarded. It might have no arms and no legs.”
Trump Jr. was among those criticizing the remarks, sharing video footage of Rogers speaking and saying: “This is stomach curling and makes Ralph Northam look like a moderate on abortion. Every Democrat running for president needs to be asked where they stand on this. The extreme turn we’ve seen from Dems on abortion recently is truly sickening.”
Alabama State Rep. John Rogers (D) on abortion: “Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later” pic.twitter.com/dxPg6X759h
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 1, 2019
He referred to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, who said earlier this year that mothers should be able to choose to kill babies even after birth.
Rogers declined to apologize for his comments, instead attacking Trump Jr. during an interview with a local broadcaster.
“That proves the right to make a decision about abortion. Him being born, that’s proof,” Rogers told WVTM. “His mother should’ve aborted him then he wouldn’t have been able to make that stupid statement.”
“That’s the first proof I’ve got that a mother ought to have the right to have an abortion. They made the decision to have him, didn’t they? They could have aborted him. But they made the decision to keep him,” Rogers added.
“He’s evidently retarded or crazy. Donald Trump’s son, I know he’s—something wrong with that boy. I look at him and tell something wrong with him. That’s the best defense I got right there for abortion, looking at him,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) joined the critics, sharing the clip on Twitter and writing: “The rhetoric of Rep. John Rogers gets more appalling each time he speaks. He does not speak for the people of Alabama and is in fact offending all Alabamians with his crude and reprehensible comments.”
Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, a Republican, called for a nationwide condemnation of Rogers’s rhetoric.
“Representative Rogers’s remarks are chilling. ‘Kill them now, or you kill them later’? His comments should be condemned at the state and national level,” Reed said in a statement.
— Alabama Senate GOP (@ALSenateRepubs) May 2, 2019
Rogers was originally speaking during a debate about a bill dubbed the “Alabama Human Life Protection Act,” which passed 74-3 in the Alabama House this week.
The bill would institute a near-total ban on abortions, stating only if there is a serious risk to the prospective mother’s health by continuing the pregnancy or if the child would die shortly after birth or be stillborn.
The bill noted that under Alabama law, a person is defined as including an unborn child at any stage of development and that last year, voters in the state approved a constitutional amendment stating that there was no right to an abortion in Alabama’s 1901 Constitution.
“Recent medical advances prove a baby’s heart starts to beat at around six weeks. As early as six weeks after fertilization, fetal photography shows the clear development of a human being,” it stated.