Throughout his campaign, Walker has portrayed himself as a family man and a vocal proponent of banning abortion, describing the procedure as women "killing" babies.
But a report published Monday by The Daily Beast challenges Walker's "pro-life" position. According to the outlet:
A woman who asked not to be identified out of privacy concerns told The Daily Beast that after she and Walker conceived a child while they were dating in 2009 he urged her to get an abortion. The woman said she had the procedure and that Walker reimbursed her for it. She supported these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a “get well” card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker.
The woman told The Daily Beast that Walker had said it was “not the right time” to have his child. Neither MSNBC nor NBC News has independently verified these documents or the woman’s account.
The ensuing media storm has rocked the Walker campaign, particularly after Walker’s son Christian, a right-wing social media influencer, came forward with allegations of his own and suggested Walker was a bad father. Earlier this year, The Daily Beast published a report alleging Walker had fathered children he previously failed to disclose to his own campaign. (The Walker campaign criticized but didn’t deny the story.)
The Daily Beast on Monday published images of a “get well” card Walker reportedly sent the woman. as well as the check he allegedly sent to her as payment.
Walker has denied the allegations, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday that he “never paid for an abortion.” When asked about the card with his signature, Walker said he hadn't seen it.
"I send money to a lot of people," he claimed.
In a statement, Walker threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against The Daily Beast. No such lawsuit appeared to have been filed as of Tuesday afternoon.
As we've come to expect from Walker, his responses, taken together, have been largely incoherent.
Walker appeared to suggest racism could have been at play with The Daily Beast's report, according to an Axios reporter who was at one his campaign events when the abortion allegation dropped.
And the National Republican Senatorial Committee trotted out its own response to the report, baselessly claiming it was part of a Democratic plot to bring Walker down by “stir[ring] up nonsense about what has or hasn’t happened in Herschel Walker’s past because they want to distract from what’s happening in the present.”
Setting aside the fact these people seem to be turning a cheek on an act many conservatives equate with murder, the suggestion that Walker’s alleged involvement in an abortion is essentially old news ignores the reality of abortions: They can have lasting, freeing impacts on the people who seek them out.
Regardless of Walker’s public claims about abortion, he's accused of seeking an abortion for the same reason many couples do: They were unprepared for pregnancy and believed their lives would have been encumbered if they had to raise a child together.
That alleged decision could at least partly explain why Walker is able to travel around the country so freely promoting his neophyte candidate and spouting right-wing stupidity. Sure — perhaps, he might have been able to do all of this with another child in tow. But Walker and his then-partner allegedly chose to do otherwise. And it’s a decision he evidently believes only he and people he sleeps with deserve to make.
If the allegation is true, then contrary to the NRSC’s suggestion that whatever happened is over and done with, Walker is the current beneficiary of a past abortion. And the alleged procedure, freeing him of any potential paternal duties he may have assumed without it, may have allowed him to ascend to political position he's in now.
The point underlying all of this is that abortions can be powerfully liberating for people who benefit from them. Walker’s footloose, fancy-free life as a political figure may just be a testament to this. Walker and his Republican allies should be reminded of this constantly as they try to strip the choice from everyone else.