A Tennessee congressman who supported his ex-wife’s decision to have two abortions, voted this week for a bill that would ban late-term abortions, according to news reports.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R), a anti-abortion conservative and former physician from Jasper, Tenn., joined 241 fellow House members who voted Wednesday to pass the bill that bans abortions from the 20th week of pregnancy onward, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
“Congressman DesJarlais was proud to vote in favor of this legislation,” said his spokesman Robert Jameson, told the Free Press, noting that DesJarlais has maintained a “100 percent pro-life voting record” during his time in Congress and “has always advocated for pro-life values.”
Jameson declined to tell the paper whether DesJarlais’ ex-wife had abortions after the 20-week cutoff.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) called the bill “the most pro-life legislation to ever come before this body,” according to the Associated Press.
“We should all be proud to take this stand today,” he added.
DesJarlais first won election in 2010. In the weeks before the 2012 election, papers from his 2001 divorce were released. The documents revealed that the onetime doctor had carried on multiple relationships with patients, co-workers and a drug company representative.
Free Press’s account of the divorce papers noted, “Serving a dual role as doctor and lover, DesJarlais prescribed one patient pain medication and lavished her with an $875 watch and a plane ticket to Las Vegas, records show.”
DesJarlais also encouraged his ex-wife to get two abortions. He also encouraged a patient — 24 years his junior — with whom he was having an affair with to get an abortion as well, according to the paper reported.
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The congressman’s Web site states that: “he believes that all life should be cherished and protected. He has received a 100% score by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the oldest and the largest national pro-life organization in the United States.”
“Despite a fixation by his political opponents on the details of a previous marriage from the 1990s, the people of Tennessee’s Fourth District have shown they care much more about the Congressman’s job in Washington than the details of a divorce,” Jameson told the Free Press.