Republican members of Congress wasted no time in celebrating last week’s Supreme Court decision to nullify the country’s right to an abortion.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais was conspicuously silent amid the cacophony of Republican statements, tweets, and posts hailing the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Not that the Tennessee Republican disagreed with the court’s ruling. He proudly declared himself “100%” anti-abortion throughout his campaign and is a member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus.
DesJarlais might not be the ideal messenger for this particular message, all things considered.
Unbelievably, it was revealed in 2012 that DesJarlais had encouraged his pregnant mistress to get an abortion and that his ex-wife had also undergone two abortions.
DesJarlais managed to keep winning elections in his strongly-red Tennessee district while being involved in one of the craziest political scandals of the time. Since then, he has asserted that God has “forgiven” him for his conduct as well as those of the voters.
Of course, the internet community is renowned for being less forgiving. DesJarlais had previously spoken out in favor of legislation that would deny millions of individuals the right to choose to abort a pregnancy—a right he has repeatedly enjoyed—but he is now silent in the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais—the anti-abortion rep who once urged his mistress to get an abortion—has not tweeted, posted on Facebook, or issued any statements (on anything) since SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade https://t.co/OuNsn8LF73
— Sam Brodey (@sambrodey) June 30, 2022
DesJarlais has not tweeted about the demise of abortion rights since June 24, the day the judgment was handed down. He hasn’t tweeted about anything at all, in fact.
DesJarlais hasn’t shared anything on his official Facebook profile since June 23, when he shared a picture of himself with a student group in front of the US Capitol.
It’s true that some members of Congress just don’t tweet or post frequently, choosing instead to make statements through their Capitol offices or connect with a reporter to express their opinions on significant events in Washington.
Sorry about the typos in there -it's Scott DesJarlais
Here's some more about his divorce. He lost his physician's license because he slept with two patients (that they know of). Also threatened his wife with gun.
This is from SNOPES which reported it as True and had the links. pic.twitter.com/twBCk4q2Ir
— ThinkFirstThenVote (@lljb99) June 25, 2022
However, DesJarlais’ administration hasn’t at all made a formal remark regarding the Roe decision. According to a Google search of DesJarlais’ most recent citations in articles, no media outlets have cited him in the past week.
DesJarlais is by no means the only prominent politician whose public politics have been in conflict with scandalous incidents in their private lives. However, there aren’t many examples from recent history that are as extreme as the six-term Tennessee congressman.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who claims to be "100 percent" anti-abortion even after his ex-wife had two abortions and he pressured his mistress to have one, has been mighty silent after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade… https://t.co/uasles7JAV
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 1, 2022
DesJarlais, a trained doctor, was introduced to scandal very early in his profession. DesJarlais’ ex-wife reportedly accused him of alarming types of harassment and physical violence during their divorce procedures a decade prior, according to Roll Call, during his first run for Congress in 2010.
Nevertheless, he was elected to Congress. Then, shortly before the 2012 election, HuffPost revealed that DesJarlais had induced his mistress, who also happened to be a patient in his medical business, to have an abortion in 2000 when she fell pregnant.
Let's not pretend Republicans could give 2 f*ks about abortion as "life." Or you can ask GOP Rep. Scott Desjarlais of TN, who's so "pro-life" he pushed both his wife and mistress–a patient of his–to get abortions https://t.co/mBxHt4hrbB #RoeVsWade #roevwadeoverturned
— Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) June 25, 2022
DesJarlais reportedly said, “well, we’ve got to do something soon. And you’ve even got to admit that because the clock is ticking, right?”
DesJarlais added at another point, “Let’s travel to Atlanta or anywhere it takes to solve this and put it behind us so we can move on with our lives.
For those who aren’t familiar with Scott Desjarlais, boy have I got a story for you https://t.co/aSEQranIm0
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) June 25, 2022
However, DesJarlais prevailed in that 2012 contest as well, and two weeks after the vote, the local press was able to receive the complete record of his divorce procedures from his ex-wife. The future congressman admitted under oath that his wife had two extramarital affairs and that he had at least six, all with individuals connected to his medical practice.
DesJarlais has boasted of his “100%” anti-abortion voting record for the course of his improbable 12-year tenure in Congress. Notably, he is not included as one of the 113 co-sponsors of a bill that would outlaw abortion across the board following the detection of a fetal heartbeat. A GOP-led Congress may advance a number of bills in the coming year as a result of Roe’s overturning.