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Second woman says Ga. Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for abortion

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign stop in Dawsonville, Ga., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022.
John Bazemore
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign stop in Dawsonville, Ga., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022.

A second woman is accusing Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker of pressuring her into having an abortion, calling the Republican a "hypocrite" for campaigning against abortion access while allegedly pushing her to get one in 1993.

"Herschel Walker is a hypocrite and he is not fit to be a U.S. senator," an anonymous woman who went by the name Jane Doe said in a Wednesday press conference. "We don't need people in the U.S. Senate who profess one thing and do another."

The woman is declining to share her identity out of safety concerns, according to her attorney Gloria Allred, and came forward after hearing Walker deny allegations from another woman who said he paid for her to have an abortion. NPR has not been able to independently corroborate either woman's claims.

Jane Doe said she had an affair with Walker while he was married to his first wife Cindy Grossman from 1987 until the alleged abortion in 1993, and claimed Walker drove her to an abortion clinic and paid for the procedure after she backed out of an initial attempt.

"I went to a clinic in Dallas, but I simply couldn't go through with it," the woman said. "I left the clinic in tears. When I told Herschel what had happened, he was upset and said that he was going to go back with me to the clinic the next day for me to have the abortion."

The woman, who said she is a registered independent but voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, said she was motivated to speak out after seeing Walker deny allegations made in a series of stories by The Daily Beast that he pressured a then-girlfriend to have two abortions.

"Particularly, I saw him state that the woman's claims were not true because he never signed any cards using the letter 'H,'" she said. "I knew that was not true because he had often signed letters to me using H."

During a press conference, Allred shared several items that Doe had from her relationship with Walker, including a photo of Walker in her hotel room while he was at a training camp in Minnesota, letters from Walker to the woman and her parents, and an alleged voicemail that Walker left while in France for the Winter Olympics in 1992.

"What I can do is, I'm trying to call you back while I'm here, but I have to call you, like, early in the morning cause it's late at night there when I'm up and the restaurant is open," Walker allegedly says in a voicemail recording. "But I keep trying to call you. I want to say I love you."

Walker has continued to deny any and all claims he paid for an abortion, including on the campaign trail Wednesday. Just before the second woman's allegations became public, Walker deflected questions from reporters by dismissing the story before specific claims had been made.

"You know, guys, I'm done with this foolishness," he said after an event in northeast Georgia. "I've already told people this is a lie."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was campaigning with Walker and is one of several Senate Republicans who have made the trek to Georgia in hopes of winning the majority this November, attacked Allred and tried to downplay the accusations.

"People here are not going to tolerate it, there's going to be a backlash in Georgia," Graham said. "This is coming from L.A. It's coming from an activist Democratic celebrity lawyer who went to the 2016 convention for Hillary Clinton, and people in Georgia are not this dumb."

Walker's blanket denial of ever paying for an abortion comes as the first-time candidate has sought to walk back his hardline stance on abortion in a state that has recently seen top races decided by tens of thousands of votes.

The Trump-backed candidate previously expressed support for a federal abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother, but falsely claimed in a recent debate that he always preferred Georgia's new law that effectively bans most abortions after cardiac activity is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy.

Walker has lagged in fundraising and most polls to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who has largely framed the abortion stories as part of a pattern of false statements and exaggerations surrounding Walker's campaign, like overstating his personal backstory and business accomplishments.

"We know Herschel Walker has a problem with the truth, a problem answering questions, and a problem taking responsibility for his actions," Warnock's deputy campaign manager Rachel Petri said in a statement. "Today's new report is just the latest example of a troubling pattern we have seen play out again and again and again. Herschel Walker shouldn't be representing Georgians in the U.S. Senate."

It is not yet clear how the allegations about Walker or his vehement denials will affect the Senate race, especially as more than one million Georgians have already cast their ballots.

Polling conducted after the initial stories about Walker's first alleged abortion payment saw support for the Republican slightly decline, though oftentimes within the margin of error. A recent Monmouth survey of Georgia voters already found a majority of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Walker, including a notable number of Republicans.

If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the race would head to a Dec. 6 runoff that could once again decide control of the U.S. Senate.

Copyright 2022 Georgia Public Broadcasting

Stephen Fowler is the Producer/Back-Up Host for All Things Considered and a creative storyteller hailing from McDonough, Georgia. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. The program combined the best parts of journalism, marketing, digital media and music into a thesis on the rise of the internet rapper via the intersectionality of social media and hip-hop. He served as the first-ever Executive Digital Editor of The Emory Wheel, where he helped lead the paper into a modern digital era.