Alabama Rep. John Rogers' 'unwanted child' comments gain national attention

In reference to abortion, the representative said "So, you kill them now or you kill them later."

Posted: May 2, 2019 10:18 PM
Updated: May 3, 2019 7:49 AM

An Alabama representative's comments from the House floor are gaining national attention.

"That child was brought into the world unloved and unwanted. So, you kill them now or you kill them later. So, you bring a child and you don't kill them now, send them to the electric chair later on down the road -- incarcerate them in prison. This unwanted child," said John Rogers, a Democrat from Birmingham.

Rogers is talking about the abortion bill that passed the House almost unanimously on Tuesday.

WAAY 31 reached out to Rogers Thursday afternoon by phone and email and didn't hear back. We were looking for clarification on his remarks and his thoughts on the national response, but our political analysts say anyone who knows Rogers and Alabama politics knows his comments aren't unusual.

"If you Google John Rogers, you'll find a whole bunch of ridiculous statements," said Dale Jackson.

"He's a very colorful man to say the least," said Waymon Burke.

Our WAAY 31 political analysts, Dale Jackson and Waymon Burke, agree that remarks like this from Rogers are nothing new.

"You kill them now or kill them later. It's the same thing, murder is murder. Do you want to murder him as a fetus or murder him when he goes to the penitentiary cause he's an unwanted child?" said Rogers.

"The shock value for the people that pay close attention to this stuff, it seems to be muted because they're used to this," said Jackson.

While Burke realizes Rogers' comments sound bizarre to some, he said sometimes there's an element of truth in controversial statements.

"I sense that that's the message he was trying to convey, and that is developing the whole person as they work through life," Burke said.

WAAY 31 called Rep. Terri Collins, the Republican from Decatur who's sponsoring the abortion bill, and she said she was horrified by Roger's words and sad to think that's his view of life and children. We also asked her about the bill's future, specifically the cost of legal fees that would fall on taxpayers if the legislation is signed into law and then challenged. She said cost issues may come, but life is worth fighting for. Jackson said the money argument really isn't one at all.

"I think this idea that we say 'It's going to cost a bunch of money' is just kind of an argument you use because you don't want them to do something," Jackson said.

Burke says, whatever the cost, it won't be money well spent, because anything other than a change of heart won't get to the root of the issue.

"The fact is the wealthy will always find a way, whether it's an airline ticket or whatever, to go where abortions are legal," Burke said.

Collins said Sen. Clyde Chambliss from Prattville will carry the abortion bill in the Senate, and they're hoping to have it in the judicial committee as early as next week.

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