An anti-abortion Republican congressman who once asked his mistress to terminate a pregnancy abruptly resigned from the House of Representatives on Thursday, less than 24 hours after he had said he would retire at the end of his term in January 2019.
Rep. Tim Murphy, 65, had an affair with 32-year-old Shannon Edwards, a Pittsburgh forensic psychologist.
Text messages revealed during Edwards’ divorce proceedings revealed her asking Murphy how he could privately ask her to get an abortion while publicly declaring himself to be a pro-life conservative.
‘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,’ she wrote, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
‘I get what you say about my March for life messages,’ Murphy responded. ‘I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.’
Anti-abortion congressman Tim Murphy (pictured, March 2015) announced Wednesday that he would reture at the end of his current term, but abruptly resigned his seat in Congress instead a day later; he had an affair with a woman half his age and asked her to get an abortion when they thought she was pregnant
Murphy admitted to having an affair with ‘friend’ Shannon Edwards (left), while he was married to wife Nanette Missig (right). Edwards has now said that pro-life advocate Murphy asked her to get an abortion
Murphy publicly posted on Facebook about how he supports the bill to protect human life
Edwards, it turned out, wasn’t pregnant. Murphy is married to Nanette Missig and has an adult daughter, Bevin.
On Thursday afternoon House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that Murphy’s resignation would be effective on October 21.
‘It was Dr. Murphy’s decision to move on to the next chapter of his life, and I support it,’ Ryan said.
‘We thank him for his many years of tireless work on mental health issues here in Congress and his service to the country as a naval reserve officer.’
The revelation came as the House on Tuesday approved Republican legislation that would make it a crime to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of fetal development.
Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, is among its co-sponsors. He avoided the media in Washington after voting for the legislation, and efforts by reporters to talk to him were unsuccessful.
NARAL Pro-Choice America quickly criticized ‘the height of hypocrisy’ displayed by Murphy’s support for the legislation.
‘You shouldn’t have to be a member of Congress just to access your right to abortion,’ said Sasha Bruce, a vice president for the pro-abortion rights group.
In the past the US congressman has been applauded by the Family Research Council for his views on abortion.
The HR 7 bill was passed by congress in January, which states the use of federal funds to pay for abortions will be permanently prohibited.
The law also states that federal medical facilities and health professionals aren’t allowed to provide abortion services.
‘I proudly sponsored and voted for this important bill to clearly stand for the dignity and value of all human life, both the born and the unborn,’ said Murphy at the time.
‘Passage of HR 7 in the wake of the President’s executive action gives me great hope we will once again be a nation committed to honoring life and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.’
A January 25 message from his mistress said the congressman had ‘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,’ according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Murphy recently acknowledged his affair with Edwards, which became public as a result of her divorce proceedings.
In a press statement he said: ‘Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend. This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses. To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter, it falls solely upon me.
‘I ask the media to respect the privacy of my family. They have done nothing wrong and deserve to be left alone,’ the statement added.
The Pennsylvania politician has served eight-terms in congress, is married and has an adult daughter. Edwards, 32, is a practicing psychologist and performs evaluations of defendants for the Allegheny County court system.
Murphy and Edwards when she volunteered to contribute to a mental health bill that was signed into law in December.
Edwards maintains that she did not begin to have a intimate relationship with Murphy until her marriage had fallen apart.
‘We had a collegial and friend relationship before anything else,’ Edwards told the court.
Dr Jesse Sally, who married Edwards on July 28, 2012, however, claims that his marriage was destroyed by the affair, and filings showed that he knew Edwards was having an affair with ‘a well-known political figure in the community’.
Sally said he believed the affair began in February 2016.
Murphy said that his relationship with Edwards ended last year.