Congressman Trent Franks resigns

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Photo Representative Trent Franks of Arizona on Thursday in Washington. He said he discussed these issues with two female subordinates.

Franks is a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus who has made his crusade against abortion a cornerstone of his career. And the congressman said that the investigation was the instigation for his decision to resign at the end of January, because, he said, "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".

"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", Franks said.

He says his resignation will take effect January 31.

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The House Ethics Committee announced they had opened an investigation into his conduct.

"I'll let the statement speak for itself", the Arizona Republican told reporters as he was leaving the House floor Thursday evening after voting to avert a government shutdown and fund the government for an additional two weeks.

Franks represents the 8th district of Arizona, which includes the northwest Valley.

He's known to be a staunch fiscal and social conservative with a pro-life stance on abortion.

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Earlier Thursday, liberal Sen.

U.S. Democratic Representative John Conyers of MI resigned on Tuesday after accusations of sexual harassment were leveled against him. He also faced accusations from women of improper sexual behavior that he's contesting.

Franks drew national ire in 2013 when he said, "Incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low" - a remark he later said was taken out of context.

There is no word on who could replace Franks at this time.

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Franks sits on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. The institute advocates for policies created to protect children and families.

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