Court records: Anti-abortion rep. pushed for wife’s abortions, slept with patients and coworkers

By David Edwards
Friday, November 16, 2012 9:34 EDT
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Republican Rep. DesJarlais (Facebook)
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A tea party-backed, “pro-life values” Republican congressman from Tennessee in 2001 testified that he encouraged his ex-wife to have two abortions and had affairs with patients, co-workers and others.

Last month, The Huffington Post reported that Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) had an affair with a patient that resulted in the “pro-life” Republican pressuring the unidentified woman to get an abortion in September 2000.

In an interview later published by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, a second patient also claimed that she had a sexual relationship and smoked marijuana with the former physician.

Court documents released on Thursday indicated that DesJarlais provided testimony during his 2001 divorce trial that he had slept with two patients, two coworkers and a drug representative, according to the Time Free Press. He also said that he had approved his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions before the two were married.

“The power brokers in the Republican Party can no longer hide behind DesJarlais’ shameful and selfish lies,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “Reality is staring them in the face. It’s time they addressed these disgusting facts and held him accountable for his continued pattern of lies, deception and hypocrisy.”

Forrester insisted that DesJarlais should resign from office and “be barred from practicing medicine.”

Earlier this month, the Tennessee Republican was re-elected to office with the support of 57 percent of voters.

The Democratic Party had pushed for the court records to be released prior to the election but the court refused because the transcripts had not been prepared in their final form.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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