Tag Archives: pregnancy

DesJarlais: No Pregnancy, No Abortion, No Broken Marriage Vows

Congressman Scott DesJarlais tells Andy Sher that there was no pregnancy and no abortion from his sexual relationship discussed in a 12-year-old transcript that has received wide attention this week. He also suggests the relationship did not break his marriage vows because he and his wife at the time had agreed they could “see other people” during protracted divorce proceedings.
“There was no pregnancy and there was no abortion,” the 4th Congressional District representative told the Times Free Press today.
DesJarlais, a freshman lawmaker who opposes abortion, is battling a controversy over a transcript of a recorded conversation in which he presses the unnamed woman to get an abortion.
“I was attempting to use strong language to get her to tell me the truth,” said DesJarlais, who added that he didn’t record the conversation and had no idea it was being recorded.
The congressman has come under attack from Democratic opponent Eric Stewart over the transcript, first reported by the Huffington Post earlier this week.
According to the transcript, DesJarlais questioned the woman on why she hadn’t taken steps toward terminating the pregnancy.
“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais is quoted as saying. “If we need to go to Atlanta, or whatever, to get this solved and get it over with so we can get on with our lives, then let’s do it.”
…DesJarlais said he pushed the issue because as a doctor he knew the woman should have been showing signs of pregnancy because “it was approximately four months from the time that I had been with her.”
Moreover, DesJarlais said, a mutual friend strongly cast doubts about the truthfulness of the claims made by the woman, whom he had once treated for an ankle problem.
“Again, there was a lot of poor judgment involved, probably on the part of both parties,” DesJarlais said.
At the time physician was married. But he said he and his then-wife, Susan, were in the midst of divorce proceedings.
“The divorce was [filed] in December of ’98,” he said. “After a period of separation, my wife and I agreed … [and] signed an agreement we could see other people.”
Both did under the agreement, he noted and rejected characterizations of the news characterizations of the woman as his “mistress” and his seeing her an “affair.”

‘Gateway Sexual Activity’ Bill Still Being Debated

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy, Tennessee recently enacted a pro-abstinence sex education law that is among the strictest in the nation.
The most debated section of the bill bars educators from promoting “gateway sexual activity.” But supporters seemed too squeamish during floor debate to specify what that meant, so critics soon labeled it the “no holding-hands bill.”
One thing missing from the debate in the Legislature was a discussion of whether the law signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam last month really would help reduce Tennessee’s high teenage pregnancy rate. Experts say it won’t and warn that it leaves teenagers inadequately educated about sexuality and prevention of pregnancy and disease.
Tennessee’s pregnancy rate among girls 15 to 17 has dropped steadily since the first abstinence-focused sex education curriculum was put in place in the 1990s, according to figures from the state Commission on Children and Youth. In 2009, the latest data available, there were 29.6 pregnancies per 1,000 girls, down from a rate of 48.2 in 1998.
Yet the state’s teen pregnancy rate remains one of the highest in the nation, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization.

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