Hours before the U.S. House voted on Tuesday in favor of legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks nationwide, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published text messages from January that suggest one of the bill’s co-sponsors urged a woman with whom he had an affair to seek abortion amid a pregnancy scare.
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) is a member of the U.S. House Pro-Life Caucus, and has been praised by anti-choice groups such as the Family Research Council and LifePAC. He co-sponsored the”Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (pdf), a bill that advanced Tuesday evening, and that reproductive rights advocates say is “unconstitutional” and “misleadingly labeled,” and “has nothing to do with science.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Post-Gazette, citing a series of documents the paper obtained, published text messages exchanged between Murphy and his mistress regarding an anti-choice statement posted on the congressman’s official Facebook account:
Edwards declined the paper’s request for comment, and Murphy did not respond, but according to the roll call, he voted in favor of the anti-choice bill, which passed 237-189. The proposed law has not yet passed the Senate.
Reproductive rights advocates immediately denounced the Republican-led House following the vote. Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, called the the potential ban “a threat to women’s lives and health, and at odds with medical standards of care,” adding: “This bill is another attempt by anti-choice politicians to appease their base after multiple efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have recently failed.”
“It’s unfathomable that two days after the worst mass shooting in modern American history, with Americans clamoring for action to make our families safe, and millions of Americans in Puerto Rico living without electricity or safe drinking water, the GOP-led Congress would instead choose to prioritize this abortion ban that will place women at grave risk,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue. “Their complete disregard to govern in a way that matches the priorities of the American people is staggering.”
In light of the Post-Gazette‘s damning report, the congressman was also sharply rebuked.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT