Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) announced his retirement from Congress on Wednesday after reports emerged that he urged a woman with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.
Murphy, who became popular with the pro-life movement for his anti-abortion stance, told Shannon Edwards, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh with whom he was last month revealed to be having an affair, to consider an abortion amidst a pregnancy scare.
“And 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 week when we thought that was one of the options,” Edwards told Murphy in a text message.
Murphy then went on to claim that he had never personally written anything pertaining to abortion, with all pro-life material being written by his staffers.
“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,” Murphy responded.
Murphy, who is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, has previously received support from the Family Research Council as well as the pro-life political action committee LifePAC.
“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 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.”
“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 continued. “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.”