A member of the House of Representative’s pro-life caucus may have pressured a woman to get an abortion, a text message sent by the woman suggests.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obtained text messages between Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania and Shannon Edwards, a Pittsburgh psychologist with whom he admitted last month to having an extramarital relationship.
In one of the messages, Edwards lashed out at Murphy over a post on the Republican congressman’s Facebook page in January that advocated against abortion.
“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.
A text from Murphy’s number replied to Edwards’ message later that day.
“I get what you say about my March for life messages,” the message read. “I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
Murphy, an eight-term congressman from Pennsylvania’s 18th District, has been endorsed by the pro-life group National Right to Life PAC and is a member of the House’s pro-life caucus. He is one of 181 co-sponsors of a bill that would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks, which was scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.
In September, Murphy made his relationship with Edwards public after the Post-Gazette won a court motion to unseal documents related to Edwards’ divorce from her husband.
“Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend,” a statement from Murphy read. “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.”
Murphy, 65, is married and has a daughter.
According to the Post-Gazette, the Facebook post that Edwards referred to in the text message touted his pro-life stance and his sponsorship of a bill prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.
“The United States is one of just seven countries worldwide that permits elective abortion more than halfway through pregnancy (beyond 20 weeks),” the Facebook post said. “It is a tragic shame that America is leading the world in discarding and disregarding the most vulnerable.”
Murphy also expressed hope that “we will once again be a nation committed to honoring life from the moment of conception and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.”