Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman rebranded himself as “John Fetterwoman” at a rally Sunday where he doubled down on his extreme abortion-with-no-limits position.
“Women are the reason we can win. Let me say that again: Women are the reason we win,” Fetterman declared in front of a large crowd in Blue Bell, Penn., against a pink and black backdrop.
“Don't piss women off,” he said, before launching into a speech that touted his pro-choice position and attacked his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, as a fake doctor and an authoritarian who wants to control women's bodies.
Fetterman promised to be the “51st vote” to eliminate the Senate filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, guaranteeing the right to an abortion and overriding abortion restrictions and regulations passed by pro-life states.
“This decision, should [it] be made up to Dr. Oz? Or to a woman and a real doctor, to choose?” Fetterman asked the audience, to loud cheers.
He attacked Oz for stating that “abortion is murder” and claimed the Republican doesn't believe in exceptions for rape or incest.
“If every abortion is a murder, that means Dr. Oz considers every woman who had to choose abortion is a killer,” Fetterman said.
Democratic candidates have sought to put Republicans on defense over abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, ending constitutional protections for abortion. Many GOP candidates have scrubbed hard-line pro-life positions from their websites as attacks from the left and polls show Democratic voters, particularly women, have been animated by the abortion issue.
Oz is among those who have walked back his statements on abortion after winning the Republican primary. Earlier this month he told reporters he does not support criminal penalties for women who sought or doctors who performed abortions. While he identified as “strongly pro-life,” Oz said he supports exceptions permitting abortion in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.
Fetterman has adopted a stance of abortion on demand with no exceptions. At a debate earlier this year, he said there are no limits on abortion he would support.
“I believe that that is between a woman and her physician, and it’s certainly not between me and any politician,” Fetterman told the debate moderator.
Polls taken throughout August have shown Fetterman leading Oz by an average of 6.5 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics. Oz has sought to close the gap by raising questions about Fetterman's health and calling on the Democratic candidate to participate in a series of televised debates.
Fetterman, who suffered a near-fatal stroke in May, has lately increased his public appearances to reassure voters he is able to handle the job of being a U.S. senator should he win office in November. The Democrat told Politico last week he will debate Oz “sometime in the middle to end of October,” but he did not commit to a specific date.
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