Dr. Oz looks flustered while speaking into a microphone at a campaign event.

Dr. Oz Seriously Just Said He Thinks Abortion Rights Should Be Left Up To Women, Doctors, and ‘Local Political Leaders’

Mehmet Oz’s U.S. Senate campaign has been plagued with embarrassing moments and general ineptitude, and last night’s much-anticipated debate with Democratic candidate John Fetterman was no exception.

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When asked about his views on abortion, Oz gave the baffling answer that he believes the issue of reproductive rights should be left up to women and their doctors. Oh, and also “local political leaders.”

You know that old adage people use to describe various geographical locations, “If you don’t like our weather, just wait five minutes”? That’s Dr. Oz with abortion. It’s very clear that he doesn’t actually stand for anything, but will say whatever he thinks the people in any given room want to hear. In 2019, he defended Roe v. Wade, saying he was “really worried” about the harm the anti-abortion movement was doing to pregnant women. Since launching his Republican political career, he’s said that all abortion—starting at conception—is “murder.” Since then (and since voters have proven they don’t respond well to such draconian measures), he’s walked that back, saying he doesn’t support criminal penalties for doctors or patients.

His comments about “local political leaders” having a say in the war on reproductive rights is a way to simultaneously appeal to anti-abortion voters while also—seeing as he’s vying for a position in federal leadership—absolving himself of all responsibility. He gets to say that he would vote against a federal abortion bill while still selling himself as an anti-abortion candidate. The man literally stands for nothing.

Meanwhile, most of the media attention on Fetterman seems to be focused on how his recent stroke has affected his speech or his need to use closed captioning. Because sure, as if we didn’t have enough working against us heading into these midterms, why not bring ableism into it as well?

(image: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.