During a debate in the Alabama House of Representatives over a proposed abortion ban last week, Democratic representative John Rogers of Birmingham made an appallingly honest pro-abortion comment.
“It ought to be a woman’s choice,” Rogers said. “I’m not about to be a man and tell a woman what to do with her body. She has a right to make her decisions herself. Some kids are unwanted. So you kill them now or you kill them later. You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, then send them to the electric chair.”
After Donald Trump Jr. criticized him for this remark, Rogers doubled down, suggesting in a subsequent interview that Trump Jr. had proven his point because he was “retarded or crazy” and ought to have been aborted.
On Thursday evening, Democratic Alabama senator Doug Jones condemned Rogers in a tweet:
The rhetoric of Rep. John Rogers gets more appalling each time he speaks. He does not speak for the people of Alabama and is in fact offending all Alabamians with his crude and reprehensible comments. https://t.co/ZLI8e83Z2d
— Doug Jones (@DougJones) May 2, 2019
Now, Rogers asserts that Jones called him privately to say he agreed with the Democratic representative’s reprehensible comments. In an interview on local Alabama radio “Matt & Aunie Show” this morning, Rogers noted that Jones was his friend and had been his attorney in the past.
“He called me twice. He told me, ‘John, I know you’re right but I [have] to come out against you,’” Rogers said in the interview. “I said, ‘Okay, fine, if it’s going to help your campaign, do that.’ That’s the kind of guy I am.”
In a statement provided to National Review via email on Monday evening, Senator Jones denied Rogers’s claim. “Look, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on this,” Jones said. “I made my position clear. I thought his remarks were appalling and I told him that I strongly disagreed with him. There is already too much division in our politics and I won’t add to it here. With that, that’s all I’m going to say on this matter.”
Regardless of whether Rogers is telling the truth, and regardless of the senator’s public condemnation of his remarks, Jones has already shown he entirely agrees with the Democratic representative on abortion policy. When he was running for the Senate in 2017, Jones told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that he doesn’t support any restrictions at all on a woman’s right to an abortion. And Jones proved it last January, when he voted against a 20-week abortion ban that 60 percent of Americans (including half of Democrats) support.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to include a statement from Senator Doug Jones.