Pennsylvania debate shows the candidates’ fundamental differences on abortion

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

As one Twitter user wisely noted, if it had been a prize fight, the organizers would have stopped it shortly after it began.

One of the most closely-watched political showdowns in the nation, the one and only debate between Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democratic Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman illustrated their fundamental difference on abortion.

Politico described the debate between Dr. Oz and Fetterman this way:

PHILADELPHIA — John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz sparred over abortion, fracking and other hot-button issues during their Senate debate Tuesday night, with the Democrat who suffered a stroke more than five months ago struggling at times to effectively communicate — missing words, pausing awkwardly and speaking haltingly.

The lingering effects of a stroke were painfully apparent. 

Fetterman repeated his support for the outdated, outmoded Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, overturned by the Court last June, which brought about the deaths of more than 63 million preborn babies and has caused anguish for countless grieving mothers. He said he wants to codify Roe, making it a matter of federal law. Fetterman also wants to scrub the filibuster—the firewall which has provided a hedge of protection against radical pro-abortion legislation in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Dr. Oz believes that the Dobbs case which overturned Roe was rightly decided. He supports the contention that there is no federal Constitutional right to abortion, and that individual states should be free to protect preborn babies and their mothers from harm.

Analysts say the winner of the Oz-Fetterman match-up could determine party control of the U.S. Senate, proving once again that Pennsylvania is, in fact, the Keystone State when it comes to electoral politics.    

The latest poll from CBS News, taken before last night’s debate, has Fetterman up by two points—51-49. That is well within the margin of error.