Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on remarks by an Alabama legislator:

Alabama state Rep. John Rogers is against the death penalty—for those who have been convicted of murdering someone.

But he believes in the death penalty for innocent unborn children—on the incredible supposition that they might grow up to be violent criminals 15 or 20 years later.

“Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or kill them later,” he told the Alabama legislature earlier this week, as he spoke in opposition to a bill protecting the unborn. “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.”

Rogers’ hypocrisy knows no bounds. In 2002, speaking against the death penalty, he lectured pro-lifers: “If you are against abortion, you ought to be against the death penalty.” 

But the obverse, in his view, doesn’t hold. While many pro-lifers do oppose capital punishment, Rogers, while opposing the execution of convicted criminals, believes innocent unborn children should be executed, for crimes they might commit if they are permitted to be born and grow up.  

In 2002, arguing for changes in Alabama’s death penalty law, Rogers declared, “We need to at least give a man a chance to prove that he is innocent.” But unborn children targeted for abortion—who clearly are innocent—don’t get that chance. They are presumed to be headed for a life of violent crime, and thus can be killed—should be killed, in Rogers’ view—before they can grow up and prove to be productive, law-abiding citizens. History is literally filled with the stories of people who, having grown up in terribly deprived, destitute, neglected or abused circumstances, went on to make inestimable contributions to the common good.

Since 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, there have been 1,494 executions in the United States. During that same time, there have been upwards of 40 million babies aborted. Does Rogers really believe, if abortion had not been legal, that we would have had anywhere near 40 million executions over the last 43 years? If not, that’s an awful lot of innocent lives destroyed to get at the relatively few who might have become criminals—and whose lives Rogers would have fought to protect if they did commit violent crimes. 

Pro-life people are of course aghast at Rogers’ callous remarks. But many abortion supporters are upset as well, for a different reason. They know that Rogers has ripped the mask off the human carnage that is abortion.

Rogers fully acknowledges the brutal truth—that every abortion kills an innocent, living human being. We appreciate his honesty, even as we deplore his cold-hearted embrace of that killing. In calling it what it is, he is far more truthful than most abortion supporters.

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