Kathy Barnette, one of the three leading GOP candidates for the U.S Senate seat, targeted Dr. Mehmet Oz during Wednesday night’s GOP Senate debate as she accused him of flip-flopping on abortion while she spoke of the fact that she was conceived by a rape.
Moderator Greta Van Susteren prompted Barnette’s response by asking about the leaked Supreme Court draft of an opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Whether this was a leak or whether it was a tactical operation, we will soon figure out, but one thing is clear: I am so very grateful that our nation is now having a very important conversation and that is one of the most important conversations: that is about life,” Barnette began, then segued, “I am the byproduct of a rape. My mother was 11 years old when I was conceived; my father was twenty-one.”
“I was not just a lump of cells. As you can see I’m still not just a lump of cells, my life has value,” she declared.
Then she slammed Oz, claiming, “And that is one of the reasons why it was so very disturbing when I saw Mehmet Oz running for this particular race when I’ve seen him on numerous occasions — and specifically at the Breakfast Club — saying that my life was nothing more than an acorn with electrical currents.”
“I am wondering if the good doctor has now since changed his position on that,” she fired. “My life is valuable and so are the many lives that find themselves in the womb of their mother, whether in the womb or towards the end of that life.”
Given thirty seconds to respond, Oz cited his mother-in-law. “You know one of the toughest endorsements you can ever get is from your mother-in-law,” he replied. “And my mother-in-law is an ordained minister. She wrote a lot of the pro-life literature in Montgomery County where we live and she certainly understands that I’m pro-life.”
“I was a heart surgeon,” he stated. “I’ve operated on small children, a few days old, and witnessed the majesty of their hearts pounding blood even though its ill cause I’m operating on those bodies. I would never think of harming that child, or even nine months earlier because life starts at conception.”
Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary debate. Kathy Barnette: “I am the product of rape and I am here to tell people like Dr Oz that I am not a clump of cells, my life matters.”
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) May 5, 2022
A Monmouth University poll released April 27 found a close three-way race among Barnette, Oz, and David McCormick, the former Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs during the George W. Bush administration.
Asked which candidate they were “very likely” to support, 22% of respondents named Oz, 19% chose McCormick, and 18% chose Barnette.
Oz’s ambiguous statements vis-a-vis abortion in the past are delineated here.