ATLANTA (AP) — A woman who said Herschel Walker paid for her 2009 abortion is the mother of one of his children, according to a new report Wednesday, undercutting the Georgia Republican Senate candidate's claims that he didn't know who she was.
The Daily Beast, which first reported Monday on the abortion, said it had agreed not to reveal details of the woman's identity to protect her privacy. But Walker, who has expressed support for a national abortion ban without exceptions, vehemently denied the story, calling the abortion allegation a “flat-out lie,” threatening a lawsuit against the outlet he has yet to file and saying he had no idea who the woman might be.
So on Wednesday night, The Daily Beast revealed that the woman — who was not named — was so well known to Walker that, according to her, they conceived another child years after the abortion. She decided to continue on with the later pregnancy, though she noted that Walker, as he had during the earlier pregnancy, expressed that it wasn't a convenient time for him, the outlet reported.
The Daily Beast said the Walker campaign declined to comment on Wednesday's story. Walker is scheduled to make a public appearance Thursday morning in Wadley, Georgia, as part of his Unite Georgia Bus Stop tour across the state.
The latest reporting ensures that abortion will continue to be a central issue in the Georgia race, one of the most competitive Senate contests in the country. Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock are locked in a tight contest that is key to the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.
It adds to a series of stories about the football legend's past that have shaken Walker's campaign. Walker has been accused of repeatedly threatening his ex-wife’s life, exaggerating claims of financial success and overstating his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.
Earlier this year, after a story by The Daily Beast, Walker acknowledged the existence of three children he had not previously talked about publicly.
The woman told The Daily Beast for Wednesday's story that Walker's denial of the abortion was somewhat surprising to her.
“Sure, I was stunned, but I guess it also doesn't shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn't remember,” the woman said. “But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too.”
In The Daily Beast report published late Monday, the news outlet said it reviewed a receipt showing her payment for the procedure, along with a get-well card from Walker and her bank deposit records showing the image of a $700 personal check from Walker dated five days after the abortion receipt.
During the Republican Senate primary, Walker openly backed a national ban on abortions with no exceptions for cases involving rape, incest or a woman’s health being at risk — particularly notable at a time when the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court precedent had been overturned and Democrats in Congress had been discussing codifying abortion rights into federal law.
“I’m for life,” Walker has said repeatedly as he campaigns. When asked about whether he’d allow for any exceptions, he has said there are “no excuses” for the procedure.
As the Republican nominee, Walker has sometimes sidestepped questions about his earlier support for a national abortion ban, a tacit nod to the fact that most voters, including many Republicans, want at least some legal access to abortion.