A Democratic state official in Alabama on Wednesday defended abortion as a question of whether "to kill them now" or in "the electric chair" later.
State Rep. John Rogers spoke as part of a Democratic filibuster against an abortion ban in the state house. The law would define fetuses as distinct and living children, granting them protections under law.
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The law, House Bill 314, is sponsored by State Rep. Terri Collins (R.).
Collins explained the bill as a formal recognition of the life of the unborn child. "The heart of this bill is to confront a decision by the Court in 1973 that says that the child in the womb is not a human being," she said.
Rogers saw things differently. He defended the right of the mother to kill the child, saying as much in a clip flagged by The Daily Wire‘s Ryan Saavedra.
"Some kids are unwanted," Rogers said. "So you kill them now or you kill them later."
Rogers argued that those children, if brought into the world, would have broken lives and end up in prison facing execution.
"You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, and then you send them to the electric chair," he said. "So you kill them now or you kill them later, but the bottom line is I don't think we should be making that decision."
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
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), historically dedicated to protecting Americans' constitutional rights, took Rogers's side. According to the Alabama Political Reporter, the ACLU viewed the law as interfering with a "private medical decision."
"We are disappointed that the Alabama House passed HB314 despite the fact it would criminalize abortion and interfere with a woman’s personal, private medical decisions," the ACLU said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that members of the House are putting their personal beliefs ahead of what’s in the best interest of our state. The people of Alabama are paying the bill for unconstitutional legislation and we hope that the Senate members will realize its detrimental impact and stop this bill from becoming law. Otherwise it will be challenged in federal court."
Rogers also considered the case in which the child might not be at risk of dying. Here, too, he supported aborting the child.
"Some parents can’t handle a child with problems," he said. "It could be retarded. It might have no arms and no legs."
After the filibuster, the bill came to a vote. Many Democratic lawmakers refused to vote, walking out in protest. The bill passed 74 to 3.