Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy fights against abortion in Washington, D.C., but when his own mistress became pregnant, his views were somewhat more liberal, text messages obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggest.
“And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abortion our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,” Shannon Edwards, a Pittsburgh forensic psychologist, texted Murphy back in January, the paper reported. Murphy, who is 64 and married, admitted earlier this month to having an affair with “a personal friend,” after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette convinced a court to release documents that revealed he would be deposed in Edwards’ divorce from her husband.
That same day, a text came from Murphy’s cell phone arrived in reply to Edwards’ message: “I get what you say about my March for Life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
The texts were among a series of documents obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which also included a memo from a staffer who described Murphy’s office as a hostile workplace, complete with “ongoing and ever more pronounced pattern of sustained inappropriate behavior” from the congressman.
Edwards, 32, declined the paper’s request for comment on the documents, but has previously said the affair with Murphy is over and that it didn’t break up her marriage. The pregnancy scare was unfounded, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Murphy co-sponsored a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks, except when the mother’s health or life is at risk or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. The ban passed in the House on Tuesday.
He’s also been endorsed by the FRC Action PAC, which extends the Family Research Council’s efforts to “bring to public office men and women who will protect, defend, and promote the sanctity of life,” according to its webpage.
Carly Atchison, a spokesperson for Murphy’s office, told VICE News in an email that the office had no comment or response.
Update October 4, 2017, 7:17 p.m: Following outrage and accusations of hypocrisy, Murphy has announced that will retire at the end of his term.
“After discussions with my family and staff, I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term,” he said in a statement. “I plan to spend my remaining months in office continuing my work as the national leader on mental health care reform, as well as issues affecting working families in southwestern Pennsylvania.”