U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker faces fresh claim of paying for abortion

WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who has said he opposes abortion with no exceptions, faced fresh allegations on Wednesday from a second woman who said he pressured her to have an abortion and paid for the procedure after a six-year relationship with him.

Walker, who hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia in a Nov. 8 election that could determine which party controls the Senate, has already denied allegations from another woman who claims he paid for her to have an abortion in 2009 and that she later gave birth to one of his children.

Neither woman has revealed her identity publicly. The first to come forward provided supporting documents to the Daily Beast, an online media outlet, including a check.

"I'm done with this foolishness. I've already told people this is a lie," Walker said when asked about the claim, according to video posted by Atlanta media. He has called the first woman's assertions a "flat-out lie."

Reuters has not been able to independently confirm either woman's claim.

The woman making the new claim, identified only as "Jane Doe," spoke by phone to a news conference organized by attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles.

"Herschel Walker is a hypocrite, and he is not fit to be a U.S. senator," the woman said. "We don't need people in the Senate who profess one thing and do another. Herschel Walker says he is against women having abortions. But he pressured me to have one."

Allred said the woman had years of documents, including receipts and greeting cards, documenting her romantic relationship with Walker from the late 1980s through the 1990s. She showed some of these at the news conference.

U.S. Senate candidate and former football player Herschel Walker speaks during his campaign rally in Americus, Georgia, U.S., October 21, 2022. REUTERS/Cheney Orr/File Photo

The woman told reporters she became pregnant in April 1993. The former NFL football star encouraged her to have an abortion and gave her the money to pay for one, she said.

She said she went to a Dallas clinic intending to have an abortion, but decided against it and left. She said that Walker talked her into going forward with the procedure and drove her to the clinic the next day, where she went ahead with the abortion.

"He pressured me to have an abortion and personally ensured it occurred by driving me to the clinic and paying for it," the woman said in a voice heavy with emotion.

Republicans have sought to characterize the allegations against Walker as a "smear" campaign by Democrats and instead have emphasized the potential for the toss-up Georgia race to decide which party controls the Senate in the last two years of Democratic President Joe Biden's term.

Walker, a political novice endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has said he opposes abortion, including for rape, incest or to protect the health or life of the mother.

Allegations about abortion represent the latest scandal for Walker, a first-time candidate for office who has also faced allegations of domestic violence.

Warnock, who serves as pastor at the Atlanta church once led by Martin Luther King Jr., backs access to abortion and other reproductive healthcare, saying on his campaign website that the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade "cannot stand."

Recent polls show the race to be close, with Warnock holding a lead of a few percentage points, though short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a Dec. 6 runoff election.

Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone, Cynthia Osterman and Jonathan Oatis

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