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October 03, 2017

Report: Pro-life Pennsylvania rep. urged abortion in extramarital affair

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, a family values Republican with a staunch pro-life voting record, found himself under fire Tuesday after a January exchange on Facebook came to light suggesting he urged a woman to have an abortion following an extramarital affair with her.

Documents obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette included the text of a Facebook post calling Murphy out for an anti-abortion statement on his office's public account. Shannon Edwards, a Pittsburgh-based forensic psychologist, wrote the following note to the western Pennsylvania Congressman on January 25.

"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."

"I get what you say about my March for life messages," Murphy replied to Edwards in a text message included in the documents. "I've never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don't write any more. I will."

The pregnancy scare referenced in the exchange turned out to be unfounded, according to the report.

Also contained in the documents were wide-ranging allegations of workplace dysfunction and misconduct at Murphy's office, where employees were subjected to a "state of terror," one memo detailed.

The revelation comes on the same day the House of Representatives passed a White House-backed bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, citing pain capacity as a justification for the sharp cutoff. 

Murphy, a co-sponsor of the bill and a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, has received consistent praise from anti-abortion organizations including the Family Research Council and LifePAC.

Opponents of the legislation, including a local OBGYN at Drexel University, have cast doubt on whether there is any medical evidence to support the bill's scientific claims.

Representatives for Murphy declined to comment on the report.