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October 05, 2017 04:54 PM

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy resigned from Congress on Thursday amid allegations that the pro-life Republican asked his mistress to get an abortion.

“This afternoon I received a letter of resignation from Congressman Tim Murphy, effective October 21,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement Thursday. “It was Dr. Murphy’s decision to move on to the next chapter of his life, and I support it.”

Murphy, who’s also a practicing psychologist, first announced his intention to retire in a statement released Wednesday. The congressman – who was serving his eighth term — said he planned to “take personal time to seek help as my family and I continue to work through our personal difficulties.”

Weeks ago, Murphy, 64, admitted to having an affair with forensic psychologist Shannon Edwards, 32, after the news came to light during her divorce proceedings.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal

Murphy is married to wife Nanette and has an adult daughter, Bevin. Edwards is the wife of Dr. Jesse Sally, a sports medicine physician.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that Murphy allegedly asked Edwards to get an abortion after he thought she was pregnant.

The paper reported that Edwards took the congressman to task after he posted a pro-life statement on Facebook.

The Post-Gazette published an alleged text message from Edwards that said, “And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options.”

Murphy allegedly responded that same day on Jan. 25 writing, “I get what you say about my March for life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them. I read them and winced. I told staff don’t write any more. I will.”

Politico reported Murphy met privately with Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, amid reports that numerous top Republicans wanted Murphy to step down.

In September, the congressman issued a statement through his attorney, admitting that he was romantically involved with a married woman, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

“Last year I became involved in an affair with a personal friend. This is nobody’s fault but my own, and I offer no excuses,” he reportedly said in the statement. “To the extent that there should be any blame in this matter, it falls solely upon me. I ask the media to respect the privacy of my family. They have done nothing wrong and deserve to be left alone.”

The resignation comes as an Allegheny County judge ruled that Murphy must be deposed in Edwards and Sally’s divorce proceedings, the Tribune-Review reported.

Sally said in court documents that Murphy and Edwards’ affair began around February 2016, according to the Gazette. But Edwards holds that her sexual relationship with Murphy began only after her marriage to Edwards had deteriorated.

She and Sally wed in July 2012, according to the publication.

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