House Republicans recently passed a bill that would punish doctors who perform abortions on women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. The bill has, naturally, received a lot of negative press, especially after some compromising news broke about one of its most ardent supporters.
Despite his pro-life stance, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania) reportedly encouraged a woman with whom he had an affair to seek an abortion after he found out she might be pregnant.
Via text in January, the woman told Murphy about his suggestion:
‘You have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last weekend when we thought that was one of the options.’
The woman turned out to not be pregnant.
A number of people have called Murphy out for his hypocrisy, and, amidst this criticism, he announced on Wednesday that he plans to resign after his current term ends next year.
In a statement to KDKA, a local CBS News outlet, Murphy said:
‘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.’
Murphy then said that he plans to spend the remainder of his term working for on mental health care reform:
‘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.
‘We have accomplished much in the past year through the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act and there is much work yet to be done.’
He also asked for privacy in the coming weeks as he helps his family through their “personal difficulties.”
‘In the coming weeks I will take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties and seek healing. I ask you to respect our privacy during this time.’
Sources told KDKA that Murphy met with Republican leaders on Wednesday and was given two choices: resign or announce his plans for retirement.
Local Pennsylvania Republicans like Justin DePlato have said that it might have been better for Murphy to resign immediately rather than finish out his term.
‘I think from the viewpoint of the Trump supporters and the pro-life supporters, they would absolutely say yes. Resign or definitely not seek another term.’
Mayor Bill Peduto, however, said that resignation was entirely up to Murphy.
‘If he would decide that the job is secondary compared to family, that would be something that I think would really come down to him and his own family.’
Murphy is unlikely to recover from the allegations he’s facing, Duquesne University law professor Joe Mistick told KDKA:
‘It’s hard to remember a career that has come under this much heavy fire all at one time. He’s in a very, very tight spot.’
Mistick also said that, while Murphy may have institutional support among his colleagues in Washington, “that may not be enough to carry him through this.”
‘This is really a local issue, more than it is a Washington issue.’
Watch a news report about the allegations against Murphy in the video below, courtesy of KDKA:
Featured image via Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.