Republicans still fundraising for Scott DesJarlais

The anti-abortion Tennessee GOPer once pressured his mistress to get an abortion

Published March 19, 2013 4:29PM (EDT)

Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais was the center of a controversy some months ago when it came to light that the social conservative, anti-abortion Republican once pressured a mistress to get an abortion. But, luckily for DesJarlais, national Republicans are still helping him fundraise.

The National Journal reports:

But unlike some other scandal-wracked politicians like Anthony Weiner, Eric Massa, or Eliot Spitzer, DesJarlais hasn’t become an outcast at all. Republican leaders haven’t punished him. He still holds positions on the Agriculture and, yes, the Oversight and Government Reform committees. Even more glaring: He’s getting fundraising assistance on Tuesday from six influential colleagues, including three committee chairmen (GOP Reps. Darrell Issa of California, John Kline of Minnesota, and Frank Lucas of Oklahoma) and two potential Senate candidates (Kline and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia).

In October, The Huffington Post reported that in the course of divorce proceedings, it was revealed that DesJarlais pressured his mistress, also a patient of his, to get an abortion. Despite pressure from conservatives in his state, DesJarlais won reelection - only for it to come out that he and his wife decided to have two abortions before their divorce.

Though Republicans back in Tennessee are lining up to primary DesJarlais, House Republicans remain unfazed: “Congressman DesJarlais’s hard work and outstanding contributions to congressional oversight on issues ranging from the devastating impact of Obamacare on small business to job-killing regulations in Tennessee have earned him Chairman Issa’s support,” said Issa spokesman Frederick Hill. “Chairman Issa looks forward to continuing to work with Congressman DesJarlais as he pursues the best interests of his district and our nation.”

"Congressman Kline has a working relationship with all of his committee members," a spokesman for Kline told NJ.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Abortion House Republicans Republicans Scott Desjarlais Tennessee