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“I believe abortion is healthcare, and I believe that is a choice that belongs with each woman and her doctor,” Fetterman tells voters

PHILADELPHIA — Tonight, in the season’s only debate between Pennsylvania’s candidates for U.S. Senate, reproductive freedom champion John Fetterman claimed a decisive victory against extremist Mehmet Oz. As Oz attempted to obscure just how fringe his anti-abortion beliefs are, Fetterman boldly proclaimed his support for abortion rights, saying,

“I believe abortion rights [are] a universal right for all women in America. I believe abortion is healthcare, and I believe that is a choice that belongs with each woman and her doctor.”

Oz may have told the moderator that “women in Pennsylvania understand what I’m saying,” but what voters heard was a string of misinformation and misdirection. When pressed on whether he would support a national abortion ban, Oz said, “I want women, doctors, and local political leaders to put their best ideas forward.” Let’s be clear: politicians, whether in the state house or in the U.S. Capitol, do not belong in our exam rooms. The only candidate on the stage tonight who truly believes that was John Fetterman. 

Statement from Cortney Bouse, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Votes in Pennsylvania:

“Tonight, John Fetterman proved that he is the only candidate Pennsylvanians can trust to fight for their reproductive freedom. While Mehmet Oz continued to dodge accountability for his anti-abortion beliefs, Fetterman told voters the truth: he will do everything he can to defend Pennsylvanians’ ability to decide what’s best for their own bodies and lives. With a national abortion ban now on the table, Pennsylvania voters cannot afford to send an extremist like Mehmet Oz to the U.S. Senate. It’s time for the Keystone State to send our best to the Senate and elect John Fetterman.”

During the debate, both candidates focused heavily on the economy. Let’s be clear: abortion is an economic issue. Abortion bans have both immediate and long-term impact on people and their families. From the cost of traveling out-of-state for care to lost wages, people seeking abortion face significant finanical strain. Evidence shows that women who are denied access to abortion experience lasting economic hardship and insecurity that has a generational impact on their children. Abortion access even affects business: in Pennsylvania, at least one major corporation — Pittsburgh-based Duolingo — has pledged to leave the state if an abortion ban becomes law. 

The stakes for abortion access in Pennsylvania have never been higher. While abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania, bans have eliminated all or some abortion in 18 states. Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly want abortion to remain legal in the state. According to an August 2022 Franklin and Marshall College poll, 89% of Pennsylvanians believe abortion should be legal in all or certain circumstances, according to a August 2022. Oz, on the other hand, has called abortion murder and is against legislation to restore federal abortion rights. And he could be the deciding vote on a national abortion ban in the Senate. 

This season, Planned Parenthood Votes in Pennsylvania is running a campaign to reach more than 750,000 voters, urging them to Take Control in this election. The campaign in Pennsylvania is part of Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations’ 2022 electoral program, “Take Control,” which represents the groups’ largest-ever investment in an electoral cycle. The program will help elect champions for sexual and reproductive health care and rights, including abortion, up and down the ballot and all across the country. The strategic investments will focus on states positioned to either restrict or expand access to sexual and reproductive health care. 


Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.

Paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, 123 William St, NY NY 10038. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.