DesJarlais: Mistress wasn't pregnant, so abortion not necessary

Embattled Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) — who made headlines earlier this week after a recording of a telephone call emerged in which the congressman, who opposes abortion rights, encourages his mistress to procure just such a procedure — said Friday that the woman turned out not to be pregnant.

"I don't mind telling people that there was no pregnancy, and no abortion," DesJarlais told WTN-FM. "But I also don't mind telling people that this was a protracted two-year divorce back in 1999 and 2000. There was some difficult times, for sure."

In the tape, a copy of which was obtained by the Huffington Post, DesJarlais is heard pressuring the woman to undergo the abortion. The woman was also a patient of DesJarlais's, who was a doctor before being elected to Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT
"You told me you'd have an abortion, and now we're getting too far along without one," DesJarlais says. "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."

In the radio interview Thursday, DesJarlais said he hoped "when the voters judge me, they judge me on the marriage I have now."

DesJarlais skipped a planned debate with his Democratic opponent, Eric Stewart, on Thursday night, saying he was tasked with presiding over Friday's pro forma session of the House. DesJarlais briefly presided over a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance Friday morning before gaveling the House closed.