Dr. Oz, who said all abortions are “murder,” doesn’t want to tell the women of Pennsylvania where he stands on his party’s national abortions stand. Isn’t that odd? Someone runs for office to vote on policies that impact Americans’ lives, so they should expect to answer basic questions about their positions. But not Oz.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senatorial candidate and current Lt. Governor of the state John Fetterman released a statement sent to PoliticusUSA on Wednesday blasting the Republican for hiding his position:
“Dr. Oz can’t seem to get two words out: yes or no. It’s been an entire month since the GOP’s national abortion ban was introduced in the Senate, and Dr. Oz still hasn’t said how he’d vote.”
Fetterman concludes that Oz won’t answer the question because he knows it’s not a popular answer, “Answering this question is so hard for him because he knows Pennsylvania won’t stand for his extremism. He’d vote to ban abortion nationwide if he got the chance. His views on this issue are way out of step for Pennsylvania, but that’s why he’s hiding.”
While Fetterman could be motivated to accuse his opponent of backing a very unpopular and extreme position to win an election, the facts are that Dr. Oz is on audio saying what he says he believes:
“I do believe life starts at conception, and I’ve said that multiple times. If life starts at conception, why do you care what stage our hearts starts beating at? It’s, you know, it’s still murder, if you were to terminate a child whether their heart’s beating or not.”
“If you want to know the actual date, it’s usually at nine weeks that the heart starts beating. Prior to that, you have cells that are starting to connect with each other but they’re not beating in the way that you would see it on an echocardiogram.”
In true Oz style, his campaign tried to walk that back in a very Trumpian both sides of his mouth move, by saying in a statement: “Dr. Oz is pro-life and supports exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. It’s quite the contrast from John Fetterman who supports abortion up until the moment of birth.”
Fetterman’s stance is on his website, like it should be. “As your senator, I will vote to enshrine access to safe and legal abortion into federal law by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act, because deciding how and when to become a mother is a decision that should always be made by a woman and her doctor — not politicians. I will also stand up to attacks on Planned Parenthood, and fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment.”
CNN reached out to Oz aides to ask for clarification: CRICKETS. Huh.
92.7% of abortions were performed at less than 13 weeks’ gestation, according to the CDC. Guttmacher found that “slightly more than 1% of abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later.”
So there is hardly a rush for late term abortions. And those that need them are most often addressing serious medical issues. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) told the Washington Post that “pregnant women may experience conditions such as ‘premature rupture of membranes and infection, preeclampsia, placental abruption, and placenta accreta” late in pregnancy that may endanger their lives.
“Women in these circumstances may risk extensive blood loss, stroke, and septic shock that could lead to maternal death. Politicians must never require a doctor to wait for a medical condition to worsen and become life-threatening before being able to provide evidence-based care to their patients, including an abortion.”
The often used inference that women just want a late term abortion is so ugly and wrong – especially since women at that stage obviously WANT the pregnancy and are often devastated by bad medical news. Dr. Oz, as a doctor, should know the medical crises many pregnant people are facing and as a doctor, should be married to facts over (misguided) religious dogma.
It’s also clear that Dr. Oz doesn’t actually see room for exceptions for the rape, incest or the life of the mother because he is saying any abortion is murder. The law is built on precedent, and his argument is all abortion is murder. So murder is okay if someone is raped? That argument falls apart when actually used and that is why it makes dangerous public policy and that is why it is important for people running to make law to answer policy related questions, ideally in enough detail that they demonstrate an awareness of how lawmaking works.
Of course, Oz said that to a Pro-Life voter. So, again, perhaps Oz will tell anyone whatever they want to hear. But he did say this is what he believes. If his campaign is saying he lied to that voter, how can voters believe anything he says?
How would the Trump endorsed Republican vote? Given his lack of backbone on any policy – it’s a wonder why he even ran, he is so seemingly disinterested from the actual job he is running for – Oz would vote how the Trump faction tells him to vote. And given the only words he managed to say out of his own mouth, he thinks all abortion is murder. It’s fair to judge him on that, since he is obfuscating his real positions.
Mehmet Oz’s dodging of voters’ questions about his abortion stance have become so absurd that the John Fetterman camp started a website called; “Oz Watch.”
In case you were wondering, at the time of this writing at 12:35, Oz Watch says it’s been since the Republican “refused to tell Pennsylvanians how he’d vote on the new Senate Republican bill to ban abortion nationwide.”
Sixty-one percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The majority of voters do not want a sham diet pusher of a doctor having authority over their medical decisions, and he and his campaign know it. So Oz hides, equivocates, and distorts his position on a matter of life and death to women and girls.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.