Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is resigning after the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into reports he asked two of his female staffers to be surrogates.
Full statement from @RepTrentFranks on leaving congress after Ethics Committee launched an investigation into asking two female staffers about becoming surrogates for his children. pic.twitter.com/NVpZbgAOUt
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 7, 2017
In a statement announcing his resignation Franks wrote:
Given the nature of numerous allegations and reports across America in recent weeks, I want to make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff. However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable.
Franks detailed the struggles he and his wife faced with infertility, which resulted in three miscarriages.
“My wife and I have long struggled with infertility. We experienced three miscarriages. We pursued adoption on more than one occasion only to have the adoptive mothers in each case change their mind prior to giving birth,” he wrote. “A wonderful and loving lady, to whom we will be forever grateful, acted as a gestational surrogate for our twins and was able to carry them successfully to live birth. The process by which they were conceived was a pro-life approach that did not discard or throw away any embryos. My son and daughter are unspeakable gifts of God that have brought us our greatest earthly happiness in the 37 years we have been married.”
The congressman explained that he and his wife tried once again to have another child via surrogate once their twins turned 3, but that the attempt also ended in a miscarriage.
He added, “Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.”
This story is developing and will be updated.