On Wednesday, Republicans denounced comments by State Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, suggesting that children killed in abortions would have to be killed in the electric chair later if they had lived.
Rogers made the comments on the floor of the Alabama Statehouse on Tuesday while debating State Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, over a Pro-Life bill that she had sponsored. While Collins continued to extoll the merits of her bill to ban most abortions in the state, others were horrified by Rogers’ comments during the floor debate with Collins.
“Rep. Rogers’ remarks are chilling,” said Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper. “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,” Reed continued. “House Bill 314, which the House passed 74 to 3, recognizes and protects the dignity of human life, and the Alabama Senate looks forward to debating and voting on this important pro-life measure in the coming days.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan denounced Rogers’ comments as stunningly abhorrent and callous words from the debate on the abortion bill.
“So easy for every human alive to pontificate and decide why others in the womb, who can’t speak, should be destroyed and denied their life,” Lathan said. “Thanks to the AL House Republicans for passing one of the toughest abortion bills in the nation yesterday. Babies are pro-life if you could ask them.”
“This is one of the most horrific statements I’ve ever heard from an elected official, and it follows the previous disgusting comments from Gov. (Ralph) Northam in Virginia,” said Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose. “The American people must put our foot down and say enough is enough. Every single life is precious and worth fighting for. I’m disappointed Alabama has a senator in Doug Jones who is unabashedly pro-abortion and refuses to stand up to this type of extremism from members of his own party. Alabama deserves a 100 percent pro-life voice representing us in the Senate.”
Byrne is running for the seat currently held by Jones.
The Alabama Political Reporter reported samples of Rogers’ comments that ran for over 20 minutes in multiple appearances on the floor of the House.
To see our original report:
Rogers is now serving in his 10th term in the Alabama House of Representatives, representing the city of Birmingham. He is 78 years old.
Rogers is a professional photographer and according to his bio on the state Legislature’s website, is the director of minority affairs for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is very involved in his community and serves on the board of a number of charities as well as the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
HB314 passed the Alabama House 72 to 3 after most Democrats walked out leaving Rogers to filibuster. The bill, that would outlaw abortion except to save the life of the mother, is before the Alabama Senate.
Collins said she is pleased that the bill passed and is hopeful that it will lead to the U.S. Supreme Court reversing its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Update: When HB314 passed the House only three representatives voted against it. A number of Democrats who had left the chamber have since changed their vote to no, so the updated vote is 72 to 26.