Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for Georgia’s Senate seat who said in July that people aren’t concerned about the state’s six-week abortion ban— reportedly paid for his ex-girlfriend’s abortion. In May, Walker told reporters he wanted to ban abortion without exceptions: “There’s no exception in my mind...Like I say, I believe in life. I believe in life.” He’s also described exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the pregnant person as “excuses.” He joins a list of several Republican politicians outed as urging partners to get abortions or paying for the procedure.
According to the Daily Beast, Walker got a woman pregnant in 2009, told her it was “not the right time” for him to have a baby, urged her to get an abortion, and then reimbursed her for the September 2009 procedure. The woman, who also didn’t want a child, asked the outlet not to identify her out of concerns for her privacy, but also brought the receipts to back up her allegations. Per the Daily Beast:
She supported these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a “get well” card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker.
The woman said there was a $125 difference because she “ball-parked” the cost of an abortion after Googling the procedure and added on expenses such as travel and recovery costs.
Additionally, The Daily Beast independently corroborated details of the woman’s claims with a close friend she told at the time and who, according to the woman and the friend, took care of her in the days after the procedure.
Truly incredible that the former NFL star allegedly paid for this abortion with a check, not cash, but I digress.
The woman said one of Walker’s top campaign surrogates has repeatedly asked her to vouch for his character, but that she came forward because of Walker’s hardline anti-abortion stance. “I just can’t with the hypocrisy anymore,” she said. “We all deserve better.”
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Robert Ingram, an attorney representing both the campaign and Walker in his personal capacity, insisted the story was false.
Walker responded on Twitter saying that he planned to sue the publication for defamation.
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson, meanwhile, didn’t get the memo that the right was supposed to be denying the story and went with the line that it was “old” and well-known.
The Daily Beast reporter who broke this story, Roger Sollenberger, is the same journalist who first reported that Walker, a critic of absentee fathers, had three children he didn’t publicly acknowledge.
Walker’s ex-wife, who obtained a protective order against him in 2005, has also alleged that he threatened to kill her.
Despite the headline on this story, Republicans supporting abortion access in their personal lives is not hypocritical; it’s in keeping with their desire to control other people’s bodies. So it remains to be seen if Republican voters will punish Walker for this revelation.