Pro-life congressman will not seek reelection after reports that he urged woman to get abortion

Tim MurphyCliff Owen/AP

Rep. Tim Murphy will not seek another term, the congressman announced, one day after it was reported that he apparently urged the woman he was having an affair with to get an abortion.

“I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term,” a statement from Murphy’s office read, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Chris Potter on Wednesday.

Murphy had met with Republican leaders earlier in the day, according to Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA. The outlet reported that following the meeting, Murphy was leaning toward retirement at the end of his term in 2018 rather than resigning immediately.

A day earlier, the Post-Gazette published that it had obtained text messages sent between Murphy, a Republican from Pennsylvania’s 18th District, and Shannon Edwards, a Pittsburgh psychologist with whom he admitted last month to having an extramarital relationship.

In one of the messages, sent in January, Edwards seemed to lash out at Murphy for apparently urging her to get an abortion during 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,” the message from Edwards read, according to the Post-Gazette.

The apparent suggestion of an abortion clashed with Murphy’s staunchly pro-life record. He is one of 181 co-sponsors of a bill, passed Tuesday in the House, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The eight-term congressman has also been sponsored by the National Right to Life PAC and is a member of the House’s pro-life caucus.

Last month, Murphy made his relationship with Edwards public after the Post-Gazette won a motion to unseal documents related to Edwards’ divorce from her husband.

“Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend,” Murphy said in a statement at the time. “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.”

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