Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) plans to resign from Congress following the revelation this week that he’d urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion.
The office of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday announced Murphy’s resignation, which will go into effect Oct. 21.
“It was Dr. Murphy’s decision to move on to the next chapter of his life, and I support it,” Ryan said in a statement. “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.”
Murphy had initially said he would retire at the end of his term and take “personal time” in the coming weeks to “seek healing.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that a woman who’d had an affair with Murphy called him out for his publicly pro-life views in a text message after he asked her to have an abortion during an “unfounded pregnancy scare.”
“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,” Shannon Edwards texted Murphy in January, according to the Post-Gazette.
The Post-Gazette report was published the day Murphy cast a vote in favor of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Murphy admitted to having an affair with a “personal friend” in September.
“This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses,” Murphy said then in a statement. “To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter, it falls solely upon me.”
Meredith Kelly, the communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Democrats would “be closely tracking” Murphy’s district.
“While the circumstances surrounding Representative Murphy’s resignation are uniquely disturbing and hypocritical, he will certainly not be the last House Republican to have an involuntary and embarrassing end to their career this election cycle,” she said in a statement. “Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District is a reliable Republican stronghold, but the grassroots energy behind Democrats has proven powerful this year, and we will be closely tracking this district and special election.”
This is a developing story that has been updated throughout.