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DesJarlais discussed abortion with patient, transcript says

1:45 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
Scott DesJarlais
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U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais discussed an abortion after impregnating a patient, the Huffington Post reported Wednesday citing a sealed transcript of a telephone conversation filed as part of the congressman's divorce proceedings a decade ago.

DesJarlais, R-South Pittsburg, purportedly urged an unnamed woman to find a "solution" so that he would not have to inform his wife that she was pregnant. DesJarlais also asked the woman for proof that he was the father and urged her to make a decision quickly as to whether to keep the child.

"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting to(o) far along without one," the transcript says.

The Huffington Post says it verified the transcript's authenticity with three anonymous sources. A partial copy of the transcript was also provided to The Tennessean.

DesJarlais was elected to Congress two years ago as part of the tea party wave, defeating Democratic Rep. Lincoln Davis. DesJarlais has largely avoided discussions of abortion.
In August, DesJarlais told The Tennessean he was "a consistent supporter of pro-life values" but declined to discuss the comments by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., that women had a natural mechanism to end pregnancies that resulted from "legitimate rape" or the GOP's platform on the issue. He also did not return a questionnaire sent this summer by Tennessee Right to Life, a move that prevented him from earning the group's endorsement.

"My focus is on the issues that unite us in the fight to repeal Obamacare, create jobs, reduce spending and increase take-home pay," DesJarlais told The Tennessean in August.

The transcript is not the first time that documents from his divorce have surfaced. Two years ago, Democrats quoted court documents that described erratic behavior by the congressman that included suicide threats and firing an unloaded gun at a bedroom door separating him from his then wife.

Asked about the divorce proceedings last month, DesJarlais said, "I have a clear conscience."

DesJarlais' congressional spokesman initially declined to discuss the Huffington Post report, referring questions to the campaign. A spokesman for the campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

 

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