A congressman urges his mistress to have an abortion. This is not only a case of double standards, but at the same time consistent.
Republican Congressman Tim Murphy Photo: ap
Tim Murphy, the U.S. congressman of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania, is an avowed opponent of abortion. He has now decided to turn over a new leaf in his life, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday. He would resign and not run again at the end of the legislative session. The reason: the abortion opponent called for an abortion.
Shortly before that, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette had published a text message from Shannon Edwards, the U.S. congressman’s mistress, revealing the contradiction between Murphy’s political position and his handling of it in private: "You have zero problem posting your pro-life position anywhere, just like you had no problem last week asking me to abort our unborn child when we were considering options."
Just days earlier, a bill had passed the House of Representatives that tightened the prevailing abortion rules and on which Murphy had played no small part. He proudly emphasized how important that bill was to the dignity and value of life, both born and unborn.
In the end, Edwards was not pregnant after all. But the incident clearly shows the double standards that probably govern not only Murphy’s actions: Abortions are evil – as long as you don’t need or want one yourself.
Asking a woman to have an abortion, however, is just as reprehensible as banning abortions. Because there is only one thing at stake: the woman’s right to decide for herself. To have the power of decision over her own body, instead of having to follow the dictates of some man.
In the end, Murphy not only proves his double standards, but also his – unfortunately widespread – consistent world view: Murphy wants to decide about women’s bodies on a political level. In private, he does exactly the same.