Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday he is resigning from Congress next year. Several news outlets reported Franks’ impending departure from the House earlier Thursday. In a statement, Franks said the House Ethics Committee is investigating his “discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.” “I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress,” he said. “In the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation.” Franks said he has informed House leadership he will resign effective Jan. 31. In a separate statement, the House Ethics Committee announced it will investigate Franks to determine whether he “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”
. . . The eight-term congressman is a social conservative and one of the most aggressive anti-abortion legislators in Congress. He has led the charge, year after year, to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide and to limit abortion in the District of Columbia. Residents of D.C. protested his efforts in 2012 by lining up outside the Arizona congressman’s office with plastic rats and photos of pot holes, suggesting that he try to fix more pressing problems in the city than women having abortions.
According to Franks's statement, the situation seems to have stemmed from him asking two female aides to be surrogates for him and his wife: