INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Rokita claims to be anti-abortion but gave thousands of dollars from his leadership PAC to a man Politico called “the biggest hypocrite in Congress,” a similarly pro-life Congressman who’d encouraged both his ex-wife and mistress to have abortions. According to a new report from The Journal Gazette, Congressman Scott DesJarlais received $9,000 over several years from Congressman Rokita’s leadership PAC, the Fund for American Exceptionalism. That money came after reports had broken that despite his views, the supposedly anti-abortion Congressman pressured his mistress into having an abortion and encouraged two more for his ex-wife before they were married.
Congressman Rokita has claimed to be “100 percent pro-life”, saying that he’s opposed to abortion without exception, even in instances of rape or to protect the life of the mother. Today’s report, however, throws those beliefs into question and reminds Hoosiers that he will put his beliefs on hold for the sake of keeping his party in power.
U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita is running for a Senate seat from Indiana as a firm opponent of abortion rights. Yet a political action committee affiliated with Rokita has given $9,000 to the campaigns of a fellow Republican lawmaker who, years before his election, had approved of abortions for his future wife and a woman with whom he had an affair.
The Fund for American Exceptionalism has made four financial contributions since 2014 to the re-election campaigns of Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. DesJarlais was first elected to Congress in 2010, the same year as Rokita, R-4th.
After DesJarlais’ 2012 re-election, the Chattanooga Times Free Press revealed the contents of court records from his 2001 divorce showing the physician had supported his ex-wife’s decision to have two abortions before they were married and, while married, had urged an abortion for a patient with whom he had had a sexual relationship.
The headline of a 2014 Politico story about DesJarlais’ past asked, “The Biggest Hypocrite in Congress?” The headline of a 2016 Roll Call story asked, “Will Abortion Hypocrisy Haunt DesJarlais in Thursday Primary?” He won re-election both years.
The Fund for American Exceptionalism was organized in 2012 in Huntington as a leadership PAC affiliated with Rokita. It has made donations to DesJarlais’ campaigns of $1,000 in 2014, $3,000 in 2016 and $2,000 and $3,000 in 2017.