Tim Murphy has a reputation in Congress for being one of the most staunch pro-life members of the Republican party, but leaked text messages from his alleged mistress show that he has a very different view in his private life.
The Pittsburgh-area congressman has been caught up in a scandal after having an affair with a local woman, a forensic psychologist named Shannon Edwards. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted, some correspondence between Edwards and Murphy have made the controversy blow up even more.
Leaked text messages from Edward showed that Tim Murphy had encouraged her to have an abortion after she became pregnant with his child, even while Murphy presented himself as being pro-life to the public and to voters in his district.
“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 wrote in January, after a pregnancy scare.
Later that day, Murphy seemed to admit to his mistress that he didn’t agree with the pro-life messages being put out in his name.
“I get what you say about my March for life messages,” he wrote. “I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
Tim Murphy is currently co-sponsoring a bill that would ban late-term abortion.
Murphy had admitted to the affair in September, but the revelation about his advice to his mistress to have an abortion has just hit the news, leading to widespread criticism of the pro-life congressman.
Aside from his statements against abortion, Tim Murphy also received an endorsement from pro-life groups including LifePac. In the wake of the scandal, the group was not quite ready to pull their support for Murphy.
Mary Lou Gartner, a secretary of the anti-abortion group, told CNN that Murphy was an “honorable” man and cited a popular Bible verse in his defense.
“I’m not ready to cast a stone at him,” Gartner said.
But Gartner added that the group would need to consider whether to endorse Tim Murphy again after the cheating scandal.
There are more embarrassing revelations beyond Murphy’s affair and advice to his mistress to consider an abortion. The Post-Gazette report also contained a six-page memo written by Murphy’s chief of staff detailing erratic behavior. In the memo, Susan Mosychuk wrote that Murphy would berate his staff and was known to read on his iPad and play YouTube videos while driving.
Tim Murphy has not offered comment on the report that he encouraged his mistress to get an abortion.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]