Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., put pressure on a patient to get an abortion after the two had an affair, per a transcript of a phone call obtained by the Huffington Post. DesJarlais is a physician who opposes abortion rights. From the story:
The congressman, Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, was trying to save his marriage at the time, according to his remarks on the call, made in September of 2000. And, according to three independent sources familiar with the call and the recording, he made the tape himself.
DesJarlais, who was provided a copy of the transcript by HuffPost, did not deny its contents, but in a statement released through his campaign characterized it as just another sordid detail dredged up by the opposition. "Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation's problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS news called the dirtiest in the nation just 2 years ago."
That race featured charges culled from DesJarlais' divorce from Susan DesJarlais, which was finalized in 2001. The filing included allegations that he held a gun in his own mouth for hours in one instance and that he "dry fired" a gun outside his wife's bedroom in another.
"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," says DesJarlais on the call. He also notes that the "clock is ticking" and that if need be they should go to Atlanta to "to get this solved and get it over with."
DesJarlais is a freshman and represents a heavily conservative district. He has not been considered vulnerable in his reelection bid, where he faces Democratic state Sen. Eric Stewart.