Herschel Walker faces abortion allegation from 2nd accuser
A woman came forward Wednesday to accuse Herschel Walker, the anti-abortion Republican running for U.S. Senate in Georgia, of encouraging and paying for her 1993 abortion — an accusation that came just weeks after a former girlfriend said he did the same for her in 2009.
Walker’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Associated Press to the latest accusation. The candidate vehemently denied a claim earlier this month from a different woman who said Walker paid for and encouraged her abortion in 2009, two years before she gave birth to their son.
The second accuser, identified only as “Jane Doe,” spoke to reporters via an audio Zoom call arranged by her attorney Gloria Allred. She alleged that Walker, a former college and professional football star making his first bid for public office, pressured her into an abortion and paid for one after she became pregnant during the course of their six-year relationship.
“The reason I am here today is because he has publicly taken the position that he is ‘about life’ and against abortion under any circumstances when, in fact, he pressured me to have an abortion and personally ensured that it occurred by driving me to the clinic and paying for it,” Doe said.
“I do not believe that Herschel is morally fit to be a U.S. senator and that is the reason why I am speaking up and providing proof,” she said.
Doe said partisan allegiances were not a factor in her decision to come forward. She called herself a registered independent and said she voted twice for former President Donald Trump, a Republican who endorsed Walker.
The second round of abortion allegations against Walker returned the issue to the forefront of the campaign in the final two weeks before the midterm elections. Walker is competing against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in a tight race that could help determine party control of the Senate. The Republican was campaigning Wednesday in north Georgia as part of his ongoing tour of the state.
Allred addressed reporters gathered in her office in Los Angeles and detailed, among other items, cards Walker gave to her client and a hotel receipt from Minnesota. Allred also played audio of what she described as a telephone message that Walker allegedly left her client in 1992 after he had arrived in Europe as part of the U.S. Olympic bobsled team.
Doe said she is not revealing her identity because she fears “reprisals against myself, my family and my livelihood.”
A notable women’s rights attorney, Allred has represented several clients who’ve accused powerful men, including Trump and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, of sexual assault and harassment.
When The Daily Beast broke the story earlier this month of the first abortion allegation, Walker’s insistence he had no idea who could make such a claim was undermined by a follow-up report in which the woman identified herself as the mother of one of his children.
Her evidence included a $575 receipt for an abortion, along with a get-well card signed by Walker and a personal check for $700 from the multimillionaire celebrity athlete. The check is dated five days after her abortion receipt.
Doe on Wednesday said Walker gave her cash to have an abortion after she told him she was pregnant. She alleged that she first went to a clinic alone but was unable to go through with an abortion. Walker was “upset” when she told him she hadn’t gone through with it and insisted they return the following day. He drove her to the clinic that day and “waited in the car” and then took her to fill prescriptions, Doe said. Allred declined to discuss the cost or any records of the alleged abortion “at least at this time.”
Walker’s responses to The Daily Beast’s series of stories about the woman’s claims evolved from absolute denials to suggesting the signature on a get-well card wasn’t his to suggesting he did send the woman money but that he didn’t know it was to cover an abortion.
Doe said Wednesday she heard Walker’s denial that he ever signs anything with a lone initial “H,” as the get-well card was signed. She said she knew that wasn’t true because he’d signed cards to her that way.
The woman has not identified herself publicly but has spoken to multiple media outlets, revealing herself to be the same woman who filed a paternity suit for child support in New York family court. She has also alleged that Walker encouraged her to end their second pregnancy, though she refused. She said Walker knows the son they share but has seen the child only a handful of times.
Walker’s campaign has since shared with NBC News texts between his current wife and the woman acknowledging his relationship to the child.
Walker promised to file a lawsuit against The Daily Beast after the outlet’s initial story on the abortion claim was published Oct. 3. As of Wednesday afternoon, Walker had still not confirmed that he’s taken any legal action against the outlet.
The reporting has put Walker on the defensive both about his claims of being a family man and his previous support for a national abortion ban, without any exceptions — a notable position since the Supreme Court in June ended a constitutional right to an abortion and Congress has been discussing federal legislation to set a national regulation.
As a Republican primary contender, Walker was consistent about his absolute opposition to abortion. He repeated that approach after winning the GOP nomination but has since shied away from it, attempting to turn the issue back on Warnock by suggesting the Democrat supports no limits on abortion access.
In their lone debate, Walker denied his previous position and said he has settled on backing Georgia’s new state law that bans abortion at six weeks of pregnancy — before many women know they’re pregnant. That law includes exceptions for pregnancies involving rape, incest or threats to a woman’s life or health.
Walker has been dogged throughout his campaign with intense scrutiny of his past.
He’s been accused of repeatedly threatening his ex-wife’s life, exaggerating claims of financial and business success, suggesting he’s been a sworn law enforcement officer and overstating his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.
After a story by The Daily Beast in June, Walker acknowledged the existence of three children he had not previously talked about publicly, including the son of the woman who first accused Walker of urging her to have abortions.
More than 1.1 million Georgia voters have cast ballots so far ahead of the Nov. 8 election, either by mail or through advance in-person voting that began Oct. 17 and continues through Nov. 4. That is about 50% higher than at this point in 2018, the last midterm election.
With a Libertarian nominee also on the ballot, it remains possible that neither Warnock nor Walker attracts the required majority to win outright. In that case, the two would meet in a Dec. 6 runoff.