The Republican Party's war on women has never looked so craven and hypocritical.
Only days ago, supposedly “pro-life” conservative Tim Murphy, a seven-term congressman from Pennsylvania, helped pass a bill he had cosponsored to ban abortion at 20 weeks.
Now Murphy is suddenly resigning in disgrace over his very own abortion scandal.
When the married congressman and his mistress experienced a pregnancy scare, he reportedly urged her to have an abortion. Murphy has made it his goal, while in Congress, to prohibit any other woman in America from having the right to do so, but for Murphy it was different.
Murphy first tried to salvage his career by announcing he would not seek re-election next year. But that wasn’t enough for his fellow “pro-life” congressmen who reportedly forced him to resign, effective this month.
It’s a shocking and humiliating scandal for a party that has become increasingly extremist in its opposition to abortion, birth control, and basic reproductive health care.
And it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the GOP, when it only days ago passed the anti-abortion bill Murphy cosponsored, and Senate Republicans introduced their own version of the bill only hours before Murphy’s resignation announcement.
That’s not all. This week, the Trump administration is reportedly planning to rollback one of the most effective and successful parts of Obamacare: birth control coverage. This provision has made it easier and more affordable for millions of women to obtain birth control, which reduces the number of unintended pregnancies.
In other words, the Republican agenda, spearheaded by anti-health extremist Mike Pence, could actually lead to an increase in abortion rates, if women are less able to prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place.
And all of it — the attack on birth control and access to safe, legal abortion — comes as one of the ringleaders of the GOP agenda is resigning in disgrace for being caught in a stunning, career-terminating hypocrisy about his supposed values.
Murphy isn’t the first “pro-life” Republican exposed for encouraging abortions in his private life. Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee was exposed in 2012 for a strangely similar scandal. DesJarlais, however, refused to resign and sought and won re-election. DesJarlais also cosponsored the ban that passed in the House this week.
But the Republican Party has become even more extreme since DesJarlais’ scandal. During the campaign, Donald Trump suggested women who have abortions should be punished. His running mate repeatedly vowed that under a Trump-Pence administration, they would defund Planned Parenthood and end safe, legal abortion.
Thus far, they’ve failed in the legislative goals — which has upset their wealthy GOP donors who are now threatening to boycott with their wallets unless they see some delivery on those big promises that swept the into power.
So Republicans are looking for even the smallest victory — at the expense of women’s health. But Murphy’s hypocrisy makes it that much harder for the GOP to make a sincere argument for their disastrous policies. No wonder the party is forcing him out and trying to make him disappear before he can make them look even worse.