Democrats are hoping that Fetterman — who served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2006 to 2019 — will provide a majority in the evenly-divided Senate. During a campaign event near Philadelphia, Fetterman and top abortion activists blasted Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz for calling abortion “murder” at the earliest stages of pregnancy, according to a report from CNN.
“If every abortion is a murder, that means that Dr. Oz considers every woman who had to choose an abortion is a killer,” Fetterman remarked. “Think about that.”
Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson called Oz a “charlatan” who “would be a rubber stamp for Mitch McConnell” if elected. The conglomerate has committed $50 million to elect pro-abortion politicians in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona.
“Women are the reason we can win,” Fetterman added. “Don’t piss women off.”
In response to Fetterman’s remarks, Oz communications director Brittany Yanick told CNN, “Dr. Oz supports exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.” Oz faced criticism earlier this year in the Republican primary due to past support of abortion and gun control.
Dayle Steinberg, who leads Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, affirmed during the event that Oz has not been clear regarding his abortion stance, by which the celebrity cardiologist is purportedly forsaking his duty as a physician. “Despite the Hippocratic Oath that Dr. Oz took to do no harm, he was caught calling abortion at any stage of a pregnancy ‘murder,’” Steinberg said. “To hear Oz’s real opinion on abortion, you need a hot mic.”
On his campaign website, Fetterman indicates that he will support the Women’s Health Protection Act — legislation that would prohibit “governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, abortion services.” Though Democrats have marketed the bill as an attempt to codify Roe v. Wade, which the Supreme Court overturned in June, the law would instead supersede state-level abortion regulations such as ultrasound requirements, waiting periods, and gestational age limits.
“The dream of Republicans here in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said at the rally, “is to turn us into Texas.”
Fetterman leads Oz by a margin of 48% to 44%, according to a recent poll from Emerson College, while 5% are undecided. The Fetterman campaign has repeatedly dodged questions about whether the Democrat, who suffered a stroke days before the commonwealth’s primary election and has since stumbled through speeches at multiple campaign appearances, will mount the debate stage with Oz.
“We’re absolutely going to debate Dr. Oz, and that was really always our intent to do that,” Fetterman told Politico last week. “It was just simply only ever been about addressing some of the lingering issues of the stroke, the auditory processing, and we’re going to be able to work that out.”
Fetterman did not specify details of the debate, although he told the outlet that it would occur “sometime in the middle to end of October” on a “major television station” in Pennsylvania. Oz also noticed the lack of specificity, commenting on social media that “Fetterman sure has a lot of people speaking for him, but does very little speaking himself.”