An Alabama Democrat who said he supports aborting “unwanted” and “retarded” babies announced his intention to run for U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
State Rep. John Rogers, a pro-abortion Democrat who faced national criticism recently for his abortion comments, said he hopes to challenge U.S. Sen. Doug Jones in the primary, Fox News reports.
“I am now a candidate for United States Senate,” Rogers said. “I’m running for real. I’m not backing down. I’m a candidate. I’ve already – I asked them to give me $1 million, and already $500,000 have come in already. And so if I get $500,000 [in addition], I’ll be an official candidate. I’m telling you right now.”
Earlier this spring, Rogers made some outrageous comments before the Alabama House voted on a bill to ban all abortions in the state.
“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,” the Birmingham lawmaker said during the debate.
“Some parents can’t handle a child with problems,” Rogers continued. “It could be retarded. It might have no arms and no legs.”
Initially, Rogers defended his comments, but national outrage prompted him to backtrack on Monday during the Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” according to Yellowhammer News.
While Rogers did apologize for the “retarded” comment, he did not apologize for saying it is ok to kill “unwanted” babies.
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Jones, also a pro-abortion Democrat, publicly condemned Rogers’ remarks, according to Fox News. However, Rogers, who is a long-time friend of Jones, said the U.S. senator privately told him that he was “right” about abortion.
According to the report:
“He called me twice. He told me, ‘Doug, John, I know you’re right but I got to come out against you.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘Fine, if it’s going to help your campaign, do that,’” Rogers told Talk 99.5.
“A sitting United States senator called you and said that they agreed with you, but politically he had to step out publicly against you?” the radio host asked.
“Yeah. Right,” Rogers answered.
Jones did not outright deny the comments, but he told Fox News that he had to “agree to disagree” with Rogers about the private conversation.
On Monday, Rogers also apologized to Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, for suggesting he should have been aborted after the younger Trump responded with disgust to Rogers’ comments.
“He took a shot at me. I took a shot at him,” Rogers told the local news Monday. “I apologized to him. … I ain’t got no problem doing that in public.”
About his “retarded” comment, Rogers said: “The r-word is a word that’s old and dates way back to the 1940s. It’s not mentally challenged. It’s a different [meaning] to it now, but I did use it. … I was wrong about the retarded thing. I’m shying away from the fact that I used the word retarded.”
The bill that Rogers opposed, state House Bill 314, sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, would make an abortion and attempted abortion a felony in Alabama. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk. Mothers would not be punished for having an abortion under the legislation, which would make killing a baby in an abortion a Class A felony — punishable by life or 10 to 99 years in prison for abortionists who kill them.