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Mehmet Oz

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz speaks to supporters on May 17, 2022 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Fetterman Unveils Clock Counting Every Minute Oz Won't Admit View on Federal Abortion Ban

"It's a simple question," says Fetterman. "Do you support the GOP bill to ban abortion? Yes or no?"

Kenny Stancil

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman—the Democratic nominee for the pivotal swing state's open U.S. Senate seat—launched an online clock Friday counting every minute that his GOP opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, refuses to say whether he would vote for Sen. Lindsey Graham's national abortion ban legislation.

Called Oz Watch, the clock shows that more than three and a half days have transpired since the day Graham (R-S.C.) unveiled his life-threatening proposal to outlaw abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy—and Oz has yet to make his position on the bill clear.

Below the ticking clock is the following video, in which Fetterman reiterates that he is strongly opposed to Graham and his Republican colleagues' attempt to "force women to give birth against their will...[and] put doctors in prison for five years for providing basic medical care," saying that he would vote "EFF NO!" if elected.

It remains unclear where Oz—a super-wealthy, right-wing celebrity television doctor backed by former President Donald Trump—stands on the legislation. Oz did issue a statement Tuesday after Fetterman's campaign first challenged him to declare whether he would vote for Graham's freshly introduced bill if he were a senator.

But rather than answer Fetterman's "simple yes or no question," Oz said that he would "want to make sure that the federal government is not involved in interfering with the state's decisions on the topic."

In response, Fetterman said that "a federal abortion ban would sure seem to interfere with a state's decision on the topic of abortion."

Talk of leaving abortion to the states has been GOP candidates' go-to answer on the campaign trail since the U.S. Supreme Court's reactionary majority eliminated the constitutional right to abortion earlier this summer. But Graham's national abortion ban legislation—which he said will be voted on if Republicans retake the House and Senate in November—closes this off-ramp and raises the stakes of the fast-approaching midterms.

In a Thursday night interview with MSNBC's Alex Wagner, Fetterman said that "abortion is on the ballot."

"It's a simple question," he continued. "Dr. Oz, do you support the GOP bill to ban abortion? Yes or no?"

Also on Thursday, nearly 30 doctors spoke at a Physicians for Fetterman and Shapiro press conference, where they warned that Oz and Doug Mastriano—the far-right candidate running against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the state's gubernatorial election—endanger reproductive freedom at the state and federal levels.

"Dozens of Pennsylvania doctors showed up at City Hall in Philadelphia to call Dr. Oz on his bullshit attempt to hide his anti-choice extremism from Pennsylvania voters," Fetterman said in a statement. "Real doctors know this isn't some TV show. This matters. These are people's lives."

Dr. Karen Feisullin, for her part, stressed that "Mehmet Oz will not protect our rights."

"He admitted he believes that abortion is murder after fertilization—a radically out of touch comment," said Feisullin. "Oz is woefully out of step with the 9 in 10 Pennsylvania voters that support abortion rights."

Fetterman, by contrast, has vowed to be the vote that Senate Democrats need "to scrap the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade."

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