Tag Archives: erik

Voters Offer Differing Opinions on DesJarlais Abortion Discussion

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
COALMONT, Tenn. — A GOP congressman’s discussion with his mistress about getting an abortion has stirred unease in his conservative, rural district, and his Democratic challenger is now trying to convert that disappointment into votes.
However, some in the 4th District are sticking by freshman Rep. Scott DesJarlais and dismissing the decade-old transcript of a phone conversation as a smear tactic.
Early voting ahead of the Nov. 6 election began Wednesday, a week after the district learned of the transcript of DesJarlais arguing with the woman, who had also been under his care as a doctor.
“It doesn’t affect my thinking,” said Alf Adams, 85, a retired lawyer from Beersheba Springs. “Because I think he’s done a good job — and I think it’s probably a smear attack.”
DesJarlais, who is seeking re-election on a conservative platform that opposes abortion rights, has acknowledged that the conversation happened and that he suggested traveling to Atlanta to get an abortion.
He explains it away by saying he used stark language to push the woman to admit she wasn’t pregnant. He claims now there was no pregnancy or abortion.
And while the transcript includes DesJarlais telling the woman he’s hoping to save his marriage, he says she shouldn’t be called his mistress because he and his wife had agreed they could date others while separated.
“I am not trying to justify my actions or say that I am without fault,” DesJarlais said in an open letter to supporters. “But I am not the hypocrite my opponents and some liberal media outlets are portraying me as.”

Continue reading