Dr. Mehmet Oz stated on Tuesday that he also thinks a woman and her doctor should decide whether to end a pregnancy. However, he added a third party: state officials, in a nod to the terminology used by proponents of abortion rights.
Oz, a celebrity doctor who is now running for the Senate on the Republican side, was asked to respond to a question that he had previously avoided during the first and only debate between him and his Democratic opponent, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. The question was: Would he support a bill from South Carolina Republican Sen.
Lindsey Graham banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy? Oz argued in response that the federal government shouldn’t meddle “in how states decide their abortion decisions.” Oz went on to say that he would defer to “women, doctors, local political leaders, and permitting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to prosper to put the finest ideas forth so states can decide for themselves” over the matter.
Over time, Oz’s views on abortion have changed. He spoke out in support of Roe v. Wade in 2019 and claimed that as a doctor, he had seen firsthand how illegal, “coat-hanger” abortions caused “very horrible occurrences” for people. Oz changed his stance while running for the GOP nomination, calling abortion “murder.”
And on Tuesday, he said that his opponent would “enable abortion at 38 weeks, on the delivery table” (99% of abortions happen before 21 weeks; such abortions are typically caused by foetal abnormalities being found or the need to safeguard the mother’s life). Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania want to limit abortions.
Watch that moment: https://t.co/i51EuV2RuL
— The Recount (@therecount) October 26, 2022
State Senator Doug Mastriano, a candidate for governor who Oz joined at a rally with former President Donald Trump last month, has stated his support for a six-week ban on the procedure with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the mother’s life. Oz has stated that he favours including those exclusions, but the stance he took on Tuesday would imply letting states with a Republican majority make their own rules.
With few exceptions, Pennsylvania’s current abortion laws permit abortions up until about 24 weeks of pregnancy. On Tuesday night, Fetterman said he would support codifying abortion rights into federal law while also providing federally funded transportation to allow residents of states with abortion bans to obtain the procedure in states where it is still lawful.
“I want to examine every woman in Pennsylvania’s face. You know, you have a choice if you think Dr. Oz should get to decide on your right to reproductive freedom,” Fetterman remarked. But if you think that having an abortion is something that only you and your doctor should decide, that’s what I’d fight for.
Tonight Dr. Oz actually said to Pennsylvania voters that abortion should be between “a woman, her doctor, and local political leaders.”
He really said that.
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) October 26, 2022
After the Supreme Court invalidated Roe v. Wade in June, the historic decision that established the constitutional right to the procedure over 50 years ago, abortion has grown to be a significant issue in the midterm elections, particularly among Democratic voters.
In an effort to increase the Democratic Party’s House and Senate majority and enshrine Roe v. Wade into law, candidates for the party, including Fetterman, have heavily campaigned on abortion rights. Republicans running for Congress, on the other hand, have primarily attempted to divert attention from the subject by emphasising other important concerns like the economy and inflation.