HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBSMiami/AP) — Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Tim Murphy says he will not seek re-election after reports he asked his mistress to have an abortion.
The announcement comes one day after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published apparent text messages between Representative Murphy and his alleged mistress Shannon Edwards.
Murphy said in a brief statement through his office that he will “take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties.”
A Jan. 25 text message from Edwards told the congressman he had “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,” according to the newspaper.
A text message from Murphy’s number in response said his staff was responsible for his anti-abortion messages: “I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write anymore.”
Edwards, it turned out, wasn’t pregnant. Murphy recently acknowledged his affair with Edwards, which became public as a result of her divorce proceedings.
The revelation came as the House on Tuesday approved Republican legislation that would make it a crime to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of fetal development. Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, is among the bill’s co-sponsors and voted for it.
The Post-Gazette also published a six-page memo apparently written by Murphy’s congressional chief of staff and dated June 8, in which she accused Murphy of subjecting his staff members to “threats, hostility, anger and harassment.”
Neither Murphy nor his office has commented on the newspaper report.
Murphy is serving his eighth term representing a district in southwestern Pennsylvania, including parts of suburban Pittsburgh.
In a statement Murphy said made the decision to retire after consulting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. He says he will serve out his remaining 15 months in office.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)