Pennsylvania Senate candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican, and John Fetterman, a Democrat, sparred over abortion during their one and only debate on Tuesday.
Oz took aim at Fetterman’s ads attacking him over the issue of abortion, calling them “dishonest” and decrying the Democrat’s stance on abortion as “radical” and “extreme.”
The GOP candidate reiterated several times his opposition to the federal government dictating states’ regulations on abortion in response to a question on exceptions including rape, incest, or the mother’s life being in danger.
Oz was also asked if he would support Senator Lindsey Graham’s, R-S.C., bill in the Senate that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Republican candidate responded that any “bill that violates what I said” about the federal government’s involvement in abortion at the state level he “would vote against.”
Oz’s response did not address Graham’s bill specifically, and when pressed, the GOP candidate defended his response to the question and signaled his opposition to Graham’s bill if it goes against his abortion stance.
“There should not be involvement from the federal government in how states decide their abortion decisions,” Oz said. “As a physician, I’ve been in the room when there are some difficult conversations happening. I don’t want the federal government involved with that at all. I want women doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive, to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.”
Fetterman, meanwhile, would not say when he believes the limits should be, instead reiterating that he would support codifying Roe v. Wade.
Abortion continues to remain a Democrat wedge issue as the blue party looks to go after GOP candidates over their stances on the issue and the overturn of Roe v. Wade.