Let’s thank Alabama Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, for his despicable comments about the state’s proposed abortion legislation. He’s done us a favor.
He’s demonstrated that neither party, Democrat or Republican, is able to discuss abortion rights without succumbing to stupidity or hyperbole, or both.
He’s demonstrated that Alabama’s Legislature is incapable of discussing a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body without succumbing to asininity.
He’s demonstrated that obvious fallacy that lawmakers are above grandstanding for political gain.
And he’s demonstrated — clearly — that the “Human Life Protection Act,” which Republicans in the Alabama House passed this week, is outrageously severe legislation that shouldn’t become law and is a magnet for equally outrageous speech.
Rogers is one of the state Legislature’s loose cannons, historically so. Being a Democrat, Rogers voiced his party’s strong condemnation of this legislation that threatens to ban virtually all abortions in Alabama, even when a woman has become pregnant through rape or incest. We vigorously support Rogers’ condemnation of the Human Life Protection Act and its GOP sponsor’s stated goal of creating litigation that would lead to a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.
“I’m not about to be the male to tell a woman what to do with her body,” Rogers said. “She has a right to make that decision herself."
Then, Rogers continued, and shouldn’t have.
“Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or kill them later,” the Democrat said this week. “You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, then you send them to the electric chair. So you kill them now or you kill them later. But the bottom line is that I think we shouldn’t be making this decision.”
That’s where our support ends, unequivocally. We vigorously denounce Rogers’ comment about abortion and this legislation.
It doesn’t matter if Rogers believes his comment was misinterpreted. It doesn’t matter if he apologizes. Such vile rhetoric has no place in the Alabama Statehouse. Let that be clear. Republicans, in Montgomery and Washington, have every right to condemn Rogers’ language. And they should. We support that, too.
The unfortunate truth is that this exemplifies the political debate about Roe’s future and abortion rights. It’s par for the course. Pivot, as everything in today’s America does, to President Trump, who last Saturday re-told this lie during a rally: “The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”
If the United States is destined to have a substantive review of Roe, so be it. It’s an important topic. But grandstanding politicians and truth-averse presidents should stay out of the conversation. The proof of that is clear.