Republican Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz’s campaign is insisting that he has always been pro-life, but comments he has made in the past indicate that Oz did not want to impede a woman’s ability to abort her unborn baby.
“I’m not socially conservative,” Oz said in a 2008 interview where he described himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican.”
He explained that while pregnancy and childbirth should be made easier for women, he also did not want to impede a woman’s ability to get an abortion.
“I don’t believe that we should be intruding into the private lives of homosexuals and we should not be creating obstacles during the difficult time that women have when trying to terminate a pregnancy,” he said.
Oz continued that he believes “we should make it as easy as possible for women to carry a child to term and give it up for adoption,” but noted that “today’s climate makes it difficult for women to do what’s best for them and their fetus.”
But Oz’s communications director Brittany Yanick insisted to The Daily Wire that he “has not changed his mind” on abortion saying, “he’s pro life.”
“Dr. Oz is strongly pro-life and adamantly opposed to abortion,” she said, in a statement that the Oz campaign previously provided to The Daily Wire in early March. “He spent his entire career saving lives.”
“As a heart surgeon, he has literally held a baby’s tiny beating heart in his hand, and in that very moment, it is impossible to deny how precious every life is,” she added. “He’s stated this before and he’s been vocal about this for many years.”
Yanick would not explain the discrepancy between former Oz’s statements and his current pro-life messaging.
“I will be a bold voice in the Senate and a proud champion for the pro-life movement,” Oz wrote in an early March op-ed. “I won’t ever shy away from sharing my pro-life beliefs, even as pro-abortion advocates in medicine, the media, and Big Tech try to silence me.”
“I’ve taken on the establishment countless times before, and I am ready to do it again for the most vulnerable,” he added. “I will always defend the sanctity of life.”
Oz also appeared to struggle addressing when he believes life begins during a December 2021 Fox News hit.
“As a senator, how would you vote?” Fox News “Primetime” host Will Cain asked Oz. “What do you think the laws should be on abortion?”
“I’m pro-life,” Oz responded. “I do believe in three exceptions, the health for the mother being the primary one, but rape and incest as well. And I would vote to ensure that if the judiciary is reviewing an abortion law that they follow the Constitution, it’s quite clear. That Alabama case is in point did not include those exceptions.”
“But, Dr. Oz, that’s currently being debated at the Supreme Court,” Cain said. “So, setting aside the exceptions, which I appreciate, what about, what is your position as both a doctor and a senatorial candidate on when life begins? When should we draw the line when abortion is legal?”
Oz responded by emphasizing that “as a doctor,” he appreciates “the sanctity of life.”
“And for that reason, I’m strongly pro-life with the three exceptions I’ve mentioned,” he said. “That’s how I would vote.”
“And when does that life begin?” Cain pressed.
“You know, I get it. If I’m pro-life, then that’s a decision that comes back to the sanctity of when you think life does begin,” Oz responded. “And I believe it begins when you’re in the mother’s womb.”
“When you’re in the mother’s womb?” Cain asked. “But that carries you all the way up to nine months of pregnancy.”
“No, of course not,” Oz said “Life’s already started when you’re in your mother’s womb. It’s a rathole to get trapped into different ways of talking about it. We need as a nation to make sure the Constitution is appropriately followed. And people like me and you may be in the same camp, who are pro-life, have our feelings respected. And this is something that should not be taken away from us by judiciary legislating from the bench.”