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Pro-Life Congressman Resigns

TempWe might expect a congressman who serves on the U.S. government's House Pro-Life Caucus to be against abortion in his personal life. But Representative Tim Murphy reportedly suggested that his girlfriend get an abortion if she is pregnant.

A women who says she was having an affair with Murphy went public with text messages:

She: "...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."

He: "I've never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don't write any more."

Curiously, he didn't dispute her allegation about the abortion request. Pro-life advocates criticized Murphy for his "hypocrisy."

Although the woman wasn't pregnant, Murphy resigned from his position. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the decision, saying "I think it's appropriate he move on to the next chapter in his life." Murphy said he'll "take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties." 

Murphy also posted a statement on his website:

Statement From Congressman Tim Murphy

For Immediate Release: October 4, 2017
Contact: Carly Atchison 202.225.2301

WASHINGTON, DC - Today Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) released the following statement:

“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.
 
“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.
 
“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.” 

Image source.

Discussion:

  • Assess Murphy's statement. How well does his address the situation? What else, if anything, could he say, or what could he say differently?
  • In what ways is this situation an issue of integrity? Do you see a contradiction, or do you believe Murphy's political stance and personal stance may differ?