As reported by NOS Magazine last week, Congressman Tim Murphy has found himself embroiled in a sex scandal. New information has revealed that while acting as a member of Congress’s pro-life caucus, Murphy urged the woman he was having an affair with to get an abortion. As a result, Congressman Murphy has resigned, effective immediately. Murphy’s resignation is excellent news for people with psychiatric disabilities.
Kit Mead, creator of Psych Ward Reviews, was delighted at the news of Murphy’s resignation:
“Murphy was devoted to taking away the agency and voice of people with mental health disabilities. He advocated forced medication and loss of privacy. I hope that in the future mental health reform initiatives are led by people with disabilities.”
During his time in Congress, Murphy was the most vocal champion of forced psychiatric medication. In 2016, Murphy championed the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” better known as the Murphy bill. In its original form it would have increased funding for forced medication and institutionalization of people with psychiatric disabilities. HIPAA privacy protections for people with psychiatric conditions would have been discriminatorily rolled back. His bill would also have gutted state Protection and Advocacy organizations, one of the only places disabled people who have been abused can seek legal help and advocacy.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan thanked Tim Murphy for his service in an official statement:
“‘‘It was Dr. Murphy’s decision to move on to the next chapter of his life, and I support it. We thank him for his many years of tireless work on mental health issues here in Congress and his service to the country as a naval reserve officer.”
Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan is the Director of the Trans/Gender-nonconforming Justice Project at the LGBT Taskforce. She is also a longtime advocate for mental health issues. In response to Speaker Ryan’s glowing description of Tim Murphy’s life and work, Victoria shared with NOS Magazine what she feels Tim Murphy’s true legacy:
“Murphy’s tireless work was devoted towards taking away the agency and voice of people with mental health disabilities. He always saw us as lacking in civil rights and unable to live independent lives. I hope that in the future mental health reform initiatives are led by people with disabilities.”
NOS Magazine contacted Congressman Murphy’s office to ask what his next steps might be, but were unable to speak to anyone.