Fetterman attacks Oz over proposed federal abortion ban, demanding he take a clear stance on a bill introduced by Lindsey Graham

·2 min read
Fetterman with right hand raised in front of giant American flag
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman addresses a crowd at Montgomery County Community College on Sunday, September 11, 2022.Charles Davis/Insider
  • A bill from Sen. Lindsey Graham would impose a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks.

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz's campaign on Tuesday said he believes the issue is a matter for the states to decide.

  • John Fetterman, his rival for Senate, said Oz should clearly state whether he'd vote for the bill.

A Republican proposal to impose a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks is putting some GOP candidates in a difficult spot, forcing candidates such as Dr. Mehmet Oz to profess a commitment to ending a procedure he likened to "murder" while not alienating moderates who support the right to choose.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, introduced a bill that would prohibit doctors from terminating a pregnancy after 15 weeks, with no exception for fetal abnormalities that are typically spotted later on. The legislation has threatened to upend what had been the GOP line on abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade: that the matter is one for the states to decide, not the federal government.

In Pennsylvania, the Oz campaign insisted that the TV personality turned Republican nominee for US Senate would not want to interfere with state laws on whether a person can terminate a pregnancy.

In a statement, Oz spokesperson Brittany Yanick told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the candidate "is pro-life with three exceptions: life of the mother, rape, and incest."

The statement did not directly address the Graham proposal. But, Yanick said, "as a senator, he'd want to make sure the federal government is not involved in interfering with the state's decisions on the topic."

The statement came a day after Oz said he would support federal legislation protecting same-sex marriage, a stance that angered some conservatives who have never warmed to the physician, despite his being endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Yanick did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comment on how Oz would vote should he be elected this fall and the Graham bill be brought to the Senate floor by a Republican majority.

Oz's Democratic rival, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, wasted no time responding to the comment. Fetterman held a rally on Sunday trumpeting his support for abortion rights.

"A federal abortion ban would sure seem to interfere with a state's decision on the topic of abortion," Fetterman said in a statement. "Dr. Oz and his team need to stop the spin and stop the bullshit. This is a bill that he would actually have to vote on. Oz needs to tell us — yes or no, would you support this bill?"

If he were in the Senate, Fetterman added, he would be "a HELL NO."

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