Arizona Rep. to resign over comments
Trent Franks discussed birth surrogacy with two female staffers
WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said Thursday he is resigning next month after revealing that he discussed surrogacy with two female staffers.
The eight-term lawmaker, a staunch conservative and fierce opponent of abortion, said in a statement that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff.
Instead, he says, the dispute resulted from a discussion of surrogacy. Franks and his wife, who have struggled with infertility, have 3-year-old twins who were conceived through surrogacy.
Franks, 60, says he had become familiar with the surrogacy process in recent years and “became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.”
He said he regrets that his “discussion of this option and process in the workplace” with two female staffers made them feel uncomfortable.
In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the allegations “serious and requiring action” and said he told Franks he should resign.
Franks said he will step down effective Jan. 31.
The Ethics Committee is unlikely to proceed in light of the resignation.