Pro-Life Congressman Who Pressured Mistress Into Getting an Abortion Would ‘Do Things Differently’ Today

Photo: US House of Representatives

At the beginning of this long holiday weekend, Tennessee charmer Scott DesJarlais, the pro-life Republican congressman who recorded himself pressuring his mistress to get an abortion back in 2000, acknowledged his history of not-so-conservative behavior while calling charges of hypocrisy “unfair.” In addition to the tape (which he had previously dismissed as a non-issue because he claims he was just trying to trick the woman into admitting that she wasn’t actually pregnant), DesJarlais addressed the contents of his 2001 divorce court transcripts, which were released in the days following his November 6 reelection and reveal that his ex-wife terminated two pregnancies with his blessing.

A onetime doctor, DesJarlais also had affairs with two patients, three co-workers, and a drug company representative. “It was in poor taste, and it was a poor decision on my part,” he said of those relationships during an interview with the Knox News Sentinel. Of his apparent total turnaround on abortion, DesJarlais explained, “I guess as a physician, I was a fairly objective person. I try not to be a judgmental person. [Abortion] was just not something that I put as much thought into as I should have, in retrospect. Going back, if I could change and do things differently, certainly I would.” While he’s entitled change of opinion on the issue, our guess is that the main thing he’d do differently is make sure that all this stuff wasn’t so well-documented. 

DesJarlais Would ‘Do Things Differently’ Today