Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker has compared abortion to murder; said it should be banned without exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother; and stated that he would vote for a national ban on the procedure. Knowing all of this, you might have assumed that the Republican nominee wouldn’t (1) allegedly pressure a woman he impregnated into getting an abortion and (2) pay for the entire procedure. But, surprise!
The Daily Beast reports that in 2009 the Senate candidate “encouraged” a woman he was dating to get an abortion and then sent her money as reimbursement. The woman, whom the outlet has not identified for privacy reasons, backed up her claims with a receipt from the abortion clinic, a photo of a signed $700 check from Walker and a “get well” card he sent her. If you’re wondering by now what kind of card you send someone after they’ve had a miscarriage, Walker reportedly went with one that, according to the Daily Beast, included “a drawing of a steaming cup of tea” and the words “Rest, Relax…” on the front and “…Recover” on the inside. Walker’s card was reportedly signed, “Pray you feel better,” and included a H in Walker’s distinctive handwriting. The outlet says it “independently confirmed details of the woman’s claims with a close friend she told at the time who, according to the woman and the friend, took care of her in the days following the procedure.”
After the woman found out she was pregnant, Walker told her it was “not the right time” for him to have a child and that an abortion would be more convenient for him. She was allegedly unaware that another woman had given birth to the retired footballer’s child earlier that year. The Daily Beast reports that the woman also said she chose to come forward because of Walker’s public stance on abortion, which apparently doesn’t match her personal experience. According to reporter Roger Sollenbergershe told him “I just can’t take the hypocrisy anymore. We all deserve better.”
Walker has spent the entire campaign denouncing abortion, repeatedly likening it to murder, and making it clear that he wants the medical procedure banned, period. Asked in May if he wanted the law to go beyond the six-week ban passed by the state of Georgia, he told reporters: “There’s no exception in my mind. Like I say, I believe in life. I believe in life.” He has called carvings for rape, incest and the mother’s life “excuses”.
Last month, Walker claimed that his stance on abortion is not at all new, as the Daily Beast notes, and that he has “always” been “pro-life,” meaning he may well have held such beliefs while reportedly told someone to get an abortion and pay for it.
When the Daily Beast asked Walker for comment before the story was published, Robert Ingram, an attorney representing both the campaign and Walker personally said, “This is a fake story. All you’re going to do is run stories to target black conservatives. You’re focusing on black conservatives.” He also asked for the name of the woman who reported, which the business refused to provide. After the article was published, Walker said in a statement that it was a “flat-out lie” and that he planned to sue the Daily Beast.