U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Republican physician in Tennessee’s 4th District, pressured a female patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion, according to a story on the Huffington Post website.
The incident took place in September 2000 and is documented on a phone call transcript that the Huffington Post obtained.
In his campaigns, DesJarlais has promoted his pro-life, family values beliefs.
DesJarlais, who now is running against Democrat Eric Stewart, was provided a copy of the transcript, the website said, and did not deny it, but said in a statement that it was just dirty politics.
"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," according to the statement on the Huffington Post.
Stewart said today that DesJarlais "has proven over and over again that he cannot be trusted and this latest revelation is aboslutey disqualifying."
DesJarlais took an oath to be faithful in marriage and took an oath as a physician to do no harm, Stewart said, but has broken both those oaths as well as "broken faith with the people of the 4th District.”
During DesJarlais’ 2010 campaign for the House seat against Democrat Lincoln Davis, details about his 2001 divorce to Susan DesJarlais alleged that he held a gun to his mouth for hours and also pulled the trigger on an empty chamber while standing outside his wife’s bedroom.
On the Huffington Post, a portion of the 2000 phone call transcript reads:
"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais tells the woman.
They then discuss whether he will go the abortion with her.
"You told me you would have time to go with me and everything," the woman says.
"I said, if I could, I would, didn't I? And I will try," DesJarlais says. "If I can [find] time, you're saying you still will?"
"Yeah," the woman answers.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.