Senate candidate Dr. Oz, who once defended Roe v. Wade, earlier this year said abortion is 'still murder' at any point in a pregnancy, according to a report

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz greets supporters after the primary race resulted in an automatic re-count due to close results on May 17, 2022 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Television personality Oz, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, finished in a virtual dead heat with former George W. Bush administration official Dave McCormick with 95 percent of the vote reported.

Dr. Mehmet Oz.Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz earlier this year said abortion is “still murder,” according to The Daily Beast.

  • The Senate candidate has done a 180 on his abortion views in recent years.

  • Oz once defended Roe v. Wade in a 2019 interview but now claims to be “100%” pro-life.

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz cemented his conservative about-face on abortion access earlier this year, telling a Republican audience at a May campaign event that he believes abortion is “still murder,” no matter when in the pregnancy termination takes place, according to The Daily Beast.

The outlet obtained audio from the tele-town hall, which was held just one week before the state’s tight Republican primary, during which Oz responded to an audience member inquiring about the doctor’s previous — and conflicting — comments on abortion.

“I do believe life starts at conception, and I’ve said that multiple times,” Oz said at the event, according to The Beast.

“If life starts at conception,” the doctor added, “why do you care what age the heart starts beating at? It’s, you know, it’s still murder, if you were to terminate a child whether their heart’s beating or not.”

A spokesperson for Oz’s campaign did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Oz’s stance on abortion has been notoriously capricious, with the television doctor defending Roe v. Wade as recently as 2019 and questioning why people would work to overturn the landmark Supreme Court case.

In an interview on the Breakfast Club radio show that year, Oz cited his medical background, saying that, as a physician, he was “really worried” about how the growing anti-abortion movement might impact women’s health.

At the time, Oz noted that “the heart’s not beating” at six weeks into a pregnancy — the statement that drew skepticism and questions from Republican supporters at the May 2022 event. The Beast reported that Oz explained away his past comments by saying he had been “concerned” about how anti-abortion laws would be enforced.

“My mother-in-law wrote a lot of the original pro-life literature in Montgomery County,” Oz said at the campaign event earlier this year, according to The Beast. “My argument in that radio interview was as a doctor, a heart starts beating at around nine weeks. So I was concerned that if legislators picked a timeframe that’s not medically accurate, it would invalidate the law.”

But while Oz did mention the concept of a “beating heart” in the 2019 interview, clips from the conversation made it appear that the doctor was speaking from a politically pro-choice standpoint.

Oz’s apparent flip-flopping on abortion access has been a weak point during his campaign, especially as Pennsylvania becomes a battleground for abortion rights ahead of the midterms as Democratic candidates in the state lead their Republican opponents.

Oz’s political opponent Democratic Lt. Governor John Fetterman has emphasized Oz’s changing abortion stance repeatedly.

In response to The Beast story, Fetterman campaign spokesperson Joe Calvello said in a statement: “Oz knows his abortion position isn’t popular. That’s why you need a hot mic in order to hear it.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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