Despite supporting anti-abortion legislation, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday that he would not be seeking reelection next year after recent reports emerged detailing his extra-marital affair with another woman and his suggestion of an abortion during an unfounded pregnancy scare. A memo written this summer by the Republican congressman’s chief of staff was also leaked, describing Murphy’s behavior as “hostile” and “abusive.”
Last month, Rep. Murphy admitted that he began cheating on his wife in February 2016 with a personal friend named Shannon Edwards, a 32-year-old forensic psychologist. The information was revealed during Edwards’ divorce proceedings with her husband and later unsealed.
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the 65-year-old, pro-life congressman suggested Edwards should get an abortion during a mistaken pregnancy scare. In response to an anti-abortion statement posted to Facebook from Murphy’s office in January, Edwards sent a text message to him that said, “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.”
Later that day on January 25, Murphy reportedly texted back, “I get what you say about my March for life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”
Instead of denying the allegations that the GOP congressman hypocritically supports anti-abortion legislation while attempting to coerce his mistress into aborting his fetus, Murphy released a statement on Wednesday: “After discussions with my family and staff, I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term. I plan to spend my remaining months in office continuing my work as the national leader on mental health care reform, as well as issues affecting working families in southwestern Pennsylvania.”
He added, “In the coming weeks I will take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties and seek healing. I ask you to respect our privacy during this time.”
The Post-Gazette also obtained a memo written to Murphy from his chief of staff, Susan Mosychuk, describing a hostile work environment fostered by the congressman’s incessant verbal abuse. In the June 8 memo, Mosychuk wrote, “I have both witnessed and been exposed to hostile, erratic, unstable, angry, aggressive and abuse behavior from the Congressman.”
While seeking immediate corrective action, Mosychuk pointed to an incident involving the congressman earlier that week and recalled, “You were storming around as we walked in, and as we sat down for prep – having just arrived literally moments ago – you started in on the [legislative director] and verbally abused him, harassed him, chastised him and criticized all his work products. You called many of the work products that he literally gave up his weekend to produce as ‘useless.’ You pushed other documents off the table onto the floor because they weren’t what you wanted. Then you got angry and demanded we find the documents that you had just thrown on the ground.”
Currently serving his eighth term in Congress, Murphy is married and has a daughter. He has sponsored legislation prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortions and barring abortions after 20 weeks, except in cases involving rape, incest, or medical necessity.