Alabama legislator defends controversial abortion remarks amid backlash

Politics
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — Pro-life conservatives are in an uproar following comments made by an Alabama State Representative concerning the state’s latest bill to effectively ban abortion across Alabama.

During the debate over the bill, State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham said unwanted children will end up dead anyway. 

“Some kids are unwanted so you kill them now or you kill them later,” Rogers said. “You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved; you send them to the electric chair.”

Rogers also noted some children could be born “retarded” or “half-deformed.”

After hearing what Rogers said, several other state politicians sounded off, condemning the representative’s comments.

“Representative Rogers’ remarks are chilling,” Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed said. “‘Kill them now, or you kill them later’? His comments should be condemned at the state and national level. Every human life, no matter how weak or small, has inherent dignity because we are all made in the image of God.”

“This is one of the most horrific statements I’ve ever heard from an elected official, and it follows the previous disgusting comments from Governor Northam in Virginia,” Congressman Bradley Byrne said.

The chairwoman of the Alabama Republican Party also called  Rogers’ words “abhorrent” and “callous.”

Rogers’ even got attention on the national level from Donald Trump Jr., with the president’s son tweeting his disgust at the representative.

However, in an interview with Al.com, Rogers doubled down on his comments, saying that Alabama’s poor healthcare, prison system conditions and welfare system are what will end up killing unwanted children.

“You close 13 rural hospitals, … don’t do Medicare expansion, you got at least two people a night getting killed in our prisons and then we keep … locking them up in prison by the droves,” he said.

“You deny them the right to get food stamps,” he added. “You’re saying that you gotta get drug tested to get food stamps cause you on drugs don’t mean you gotta starve to death. Therefore, you’re killing them anyway.”

He also spoke about his issues with forcing women to bear children under a health risk, but under Rep. Terri Collins’ bill, there is an exception “in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”

In cases where children may end up with some form of disability or deformity, he said it should be the parent’s decision whether to keep them.

When asked if it would be better for a child to be brought in the world rather than never to have the chance to live, Rogers said no.

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