The controversy surrounding Herschel Walker, a “pro-life” Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, continues to grow. A second woman is now claiming Walker pressured and paid for her to have an abortion. Here’s a closer look at the scandal.
The latest bombshell
This week, an anonymous woman said the former football star pushed her to get an abortion in 1993. The woman, who has declined to be identified out of safety concerns, says she had an affair with Walker while he was married to his now ex-wife Cindy Grossman.
The relationship ended when she became pregnant in 1993, the woman who went by Jane Doe at a press conference held with her attorney, Gloria Allred. The woman says she visited an abortion clinic but initially “couldn’t go through with it,” which upset Walker. He then drove her back to the clinic and paid for the procedure, she says.
Through the press conference, Allred presented evidence of their affair — including photos of the woman and Walker together and letters he had sent her.
“Herschel Walker is a hypocrite and he is not fit to be a U.S. senator,” she said. “We do not need people in the U.S. Senate who profess one thing and do another.”
Jane Doe came forward just weeks after the Daily Beast reported a series of stories about another unidentified woman who alleged Walker paid for her to have an abortion back in 2009 and urged her to have a second abortion two years later. The woman backed up her claim by providing a receipt from the abortion clinic, a “get well” card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that showed Walker had given her a personal check. When asked why she decided to come forward, the woman told the Daily Beast: “I just can’t with the hypocrisy anymore.”
Walker — who wants to completely ban abortion, with no exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life — was quick to call the report a “flat-out” lie. He’s now locked in a toss-up race with Sen. Raphael Warnock. With the midterms swiftly approaching, Republicans have closed ranks and come to Walker’s defense.
“When the Democrats are losing, as they are right now, they lie and cheat, and smear their opponents,” Sen. Rick Scott, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote in a statement. “Herschel has denied these allegations and the NRSC and Republicans stand with him, and Georgians will stand with him too.”
But the report is only the latest in a series of controversies.
Multiple women have accused Walker of domestic violence, including his ex-wife Cindy Grossman. She claimed that Walker had threatened to kill her twice, once while holding a gun to her head and again with a razor held to her throat. A judge had granted her a protective order, noting that Walker posed a “clear and present danger of family violence,” per PolitiFact. The former couple have discussed the allegations in interviews, ahead of the publication of Walker’s 2008 memoir about his struggle with dissociative identity disorder.
Walker’s son, Christian Walker, wrote about the violence he and Grossman faced in a Twitter thread this week.
Walker has also frequently criticized absentee fathers throughout his campaign. But in stories published over the summer, the Daily Beast uncovered that Walker has three other children that he had never publicly acknowledged before they were reported on.
He’s also come under fire for misrepresenting his academic and professional accomplishments. Walker appears to have lied about being high school valedictorian, graduating from the University of Georgia (which he left after his junior year to go pro), having served in law enforcement, and the charitable donations his company has made.
Hypocrisy on display
If this latest report about Walker is true, he would join the ranks of “pro-life” conservatives who have privately supported abortion — at least for the women in their lives. In 2018, there was Scott Lloyd. At the time he was overseeing the Office of Refugee Resettlement, where he prevented several undocumented teens from getting abortions, because he considered it morally wrong. It was later revealed that as a young man Lloyd drove a woman he got pregnant to an abortion clinic and paid for half the procedure.
In 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Republican Rep. Tim Murphy (a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus) had asked a woman he was having an extramarital affair with to have an abortion. Murphy later resigned from his seat.
And let’s not forget, Rep. Scott DesJarlais. The Tennessee Republican, with a “100 percent pro-life voting record,” not only supported his wife in getting two abortions, but also pressured another woman he was having an affair with to terminate her pregnancy.