Herschel Walker, the football legend now running for the Georgia Senate, says he wants to outlaw abortion, compares it to murder and claims there should be “no exception” for rape, incest or maternal life.
But the Republican nominee has supported at least one exception: for himself.
A woman who asked not to be identified for privacy reasons told The Daily Beast that after she and Walker conceived a child while they were dating in 2009, he urged her to have an abortion. The woman said she had undergone the procedure and that Walker reimbursed her for it.
She backed up these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a “get well soon” card from Walker, and a bank receipt with an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker.
The woman said there was a $125 difference because she “kicked up” the cost of an abortion after googling the procedure and incurring additional costs such as travel and recovery costs.
In addition, The Daily Beast independently confirmed details of the woman’s claims with a close friend she told at the time who, according to the woman and the friend, took care of her in the days following the procedure.
The woman said Walker, who was not married at the time, told her it would be more convenient to terminate the pregnancy because it was “not the right time” for him to have a child. It was a feeling she shared, but what she didn’t know was that Walker had an illegitimate child with another woman earlier that same year.
When asked if Walker ever expressed regret for the decision, the woman said Walker never did. When asked why she came forward, the woman pointed to Walker’s tough anti-abortion position.
“I just can’t take this hypocrisy anymore,” she said. “We all deserve better.”
After The Daily Beast contacted the Walker campaign for comment, Robert Ingram, a lawyer who represents both the campaign and Walker in his personal capacity, responded.
“This is a false story,” Ingram said in a phone call, adding that he based that conclusion on anonymous sources.
“All you want to do is run with stories to attack black conservatives,” he said. “You’re targeting black conservatives.”
Ingram asked The Daily Beast to reveal the woman’s identity, but we declined.
After the story was published, Walker released a statement calling the story an “outright lie” and saying he denied it in the “strongest possible terms.”
“I’m not taking this anymore. I intend to [sic] to sue the Daily Beast for this slanderous lie. It will be submitted tomorrow morning,” he said.
According to the $575 receipt, the abortion took place on September 12, 2009. And according to the Bank of America deposit receipt, Walker wrote the woman a check for $700 on September 17, 2009. The check was deposited two days later.
The woman, who also provided evidence of her romantic relationship with Walker, told The Daily Beast that he mailed her the check on the “get well soon” card.
The front of that card features a drawing of a steaming cup of tea and reads: “Rest, relax…” The message continues on the inside of the card: “…Recover.”
The card is signed, “Pray You Feel Better,” with an “H” in Walker’s signature signature.
The woman, a registered Democrat who still communicates with Walker, said he didn’t tell her about his plan to run for Senate before his announcement in August 2021. However, one of Walker’s top surrogates has repeatedly asked her if she’s orphaned. willing to vouch for his character, and did not reach out until August.
In a 40-minute phone call in June about one of his illegitimate children, The Daily Beast repeatedly pressed Walker whether he had ever knowingly had an abortion with one of his former partners. After dodging the question several times, he finally said no.
Weeks later, a Democratic activist posing as a Walker supporter posed the same question at a campaign event, asking the NFL star if he’d ever “funded” or “aborted someone.”
“No,” Walker replied twice, which the activist recorded video.
Walker is competing in one of the most important races in the country, and the outcome could determine which party controls the Senate. It’s also one of the closest races in the country, with recent polls showing Walker sitting just behind his Democratic opponent, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock.
But Walker – who? according to held a gun to his ex-wife’s head and “would shoot my brains out” – was constantly rocked by reports that he had lied about his past and covered up several love children. Still, the claim that he not only urged a romantic partner to have an abortion, but paid for it, could be the most explosive revelation yet.
Following the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe v. Wade in July, abortion rights have become a central campaign theme across the country. The ruling caused spikes in voter registration and turnout at national competitions, especially among women. A recent UKTN/YouGov poll found that likely voters in Georgia who said the abortion issue is “very important” were more than twice as likely to support Warnock, 67 percent against Walker’s 32 percent.
In such an environment, many Republicans vying for mainstream support in tight races have tried to play to the middle, hoping not to alienate female voters.
Abortion has been at the forefront in Georgia for months, thanks in large part to Walker’s own comments. The University of Georgia football icon has attracted media attention with his outspoken, absolutist stance in support of a total ban, both statewide and federal. He has repeatedly compared the procedure to murder and does not support exceptions, including for rape, incest or maternal life – examples Walker has turned down as “apologies”.
“There is no exception in my mind,” Walker told reporters in May. “Like I said, I believe in life. I believe in life.”
Walker has also said that his stance against abortion is not a recent change, to claim last month that he has “always” been “for life”.
Two weeks ago, Walker broke with other Senate candidates when he volunteered to support a 15-week federal ban issued by Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC). Other candidates evaded comment on Graham’s proposal, but Walker told Politico that if elected, he “WOULD” support such a bill.
“Raphael Warnock wants to protect the killing of babies until birth. We need to do better,” Walker said in a statement to Politico. “I am a proud pro-life Christian and I will always stand up for our unborn children. I believe the issue should be decided at the state level, but I WOULD support this policy.”
At a July campaign event for farmers in Georgia, Walker was asked if he thought voters would keep the recently passed state ban in mind when voting in November.
“People don’t worry about that,” Walker said. The Gainesville Times. “People are worried about the gas, they’re worried about food. They don’t even talk about that. I don’t hear about that.”
Four days earlier, Walker said at another campaign stop that “there is no national ban on abortion right now and I think that’s a problem. I’m pro-life and I’m not going to make an excuse for it.”
While that stance may lose some voters, it has endeared him to anti-abortion proponents, who have promoted him as a champion of the cause.
“Herschel Walker will be a very effective champion for unborn babies and their mothers in Washington and he has shown the passion and perseverance it takes to win the pivotal race in Georgia’s Senate,” said Carol Tobias, the president of National Right to Life, whose group endorsed Walker over his Republican primary opponents in April.
Walker has been married twice and has four known children, all from different mothers. The Daily Beast revealed in July that Walker had lied to his own campaign staff when he denied the existence of two of those children, whom Walker had also hidden from the public for years, despite speaking out against fatherless families in the black community.
One of those children was born the same year Walker paid for the abortion.
The following year, 2010, Walker told radio host Howard Stern that he had only slept with two women in his life.
Walker claims to be a devout Christian, and he often invokes his faith to justify his anti-abortion stance, including during the campaign.
“To say it’s okay for a woman to kill her baby when… [God] said, “Thou shalt not kill.” And I said, you know, I can’t, I can’t fix it,” Walker said at a conservative Christian values roundup in August. “I can’t get around that.”