Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who reportedly encouraged his mistress to have an abortion, will resign from Congress later this month, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement Thursday.
According to Ryan, Murphy, 65, will resign effective Oct. 21. The speaker said he supports the lawmaker’s decision to leave Congress.
— Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) October 5, 2017
“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,” Ryan said.
What did Murphy do?
Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, admitted last month to that he had an extramarital affair with Shannon Edwards, 32, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh.
According to text messages obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in a January conversation, Edwards criticized Murphy for a pro-life statement posted on his official Facebook page.
“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 to Murphy in a January text, amid what the Post-Gazette called “an unfounded pregnancy scare.”
Murphy appeared to acknowledge Edwards’ claim, writing, “I get what you say about my [March for Life] messages.”
“I’ve never written them,” he wrote. “Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
The report caused immediate controversy, with many characterizing Murphy as a hypocrite for privately disavowing his public pro-life position.
Before submitting his resignation letter to Ryan, the Pennsylvania lawmaker initially said he would not seek re-election in 2018.