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Pennsylvania Republicans vied to demonstrate their pro-life credentials in a crucial debate on Wednesday, two weeks before the state’s U.S. Senate GOP primary and two days after an unprecedented Supreme Court leak highlighted the issue of abortion.
Kathy Barnette, an army veteran and author, has revealed she was conceived during a rape and dared Dr. Mehmet Oz – whom former President Trump endorsed and who barely edged out Barnette and the former Treasury Undersecretary David McCormick in the latest polls – to say she was just a “cluster of cells” before she was born.
“I am the byproduct of a rape,” Barnette said. “My mom was 11 when I was conceived. My dad was 21. I wasn’t just a bunch of cells. As you can see, I’m still not just a bunch of cells. My life has value.”
She went on to say “that’s one of the reasons I was so disturbed when I saw Mehmet Oz running for this particular race, when I’ve seen him so many times, especially at the Breakfast Club, saying my life was nothing more than an acorn with electric current.”
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“I wonder if the doctor has since changed his position on this,” Barnette added. “My life is precious, as are the many lives that end up in their mother’s womb.”
Oz responded by boasting an endorsement – his stepmother’s endorsement.
“My mother-in-law is an ordained minister. She’s written a lot of the pro-life literature in Montgomery County where we live, and she certainly understands that I’m pro-life,” the TV personality said. for a long time. “As a heart surgeon, I’ve operated on small children a few days old and seen the majesty of their hearts beating blood, even though I’m sick, because I’m operating on them through these bodies, I wouldn’t think never to hurt that child, or even nine months earlier because life begins at conception.”
McCormick, a former CEO of Bridgewater Associates who served in the George W. Bush administration, celebrated the leaking of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which has invalidated Roe against Wade. (While Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Tuesday that the draft was authentic, it dates back to February 10 and does not represent the current or definitive opinion of the Court.)
“This leaked memo, if it becomes the court’s decision, is a huge victory for the protection of innocent life,” McCormick said. “It’s a huge step forward and it also pushes decisions at the state and voter level to where they should be.” He added that if that became the decision, “I would accept it and be very, very happy about it.”
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McCormick, like Barnette, attacked Oz on the issue, saying his stepmother’s approval was “not an adequate response”.
“If you go back to that Breakfast Club interview, which was three years ago this month, he’s talking about a whole different set of positions,” McCormick noted. He turned to Oz, saying his opponent has “a completely opposite track record to the positions you’re saying now. … This is another example of you being wrong in terms of the positions you’re putting forward.”
Oz explicitly attacked the claim that life begins at conception in the 2019 Breakfast Club interview. “If you think that at conception you have life, then why would you even wait six weeks? Okay, so an in vitro fertilized egg is still life,” he said.
While Oz said he personally wouldn’t want anyone in his family to have an abortion, he went on to warn that states that ban six-week abortions would hurt business in those states, and he expressed his sympathy for “women who have had coat hanger abortions”, suggesting that Roe v. Wade helped the situation.
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A new poll from Monmouth University shows a near tie between the top three contenders, with Oz leading at 22%, closely followed by McCormick at 19% and Barnette at 18%.
Jeff Bartos, a businessman and former GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, called both Oz and McCormick non-status.
“I am pro-life, and Pennsylvania has a proud tradition of sending pro-life US senators from both parties to Washington,” he said.
“This seat, which will probably decide control of the Senate, is too important to be given to two people from Connecticut and New Jersey,” Bartos added in an affront to McCormick, a recent Connecticut resident, and Oz, a New Jersey. Long time Jersey. resident. Bartos also noted that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the likely Democratic opponent, has strongly defended abortion.
Carla Sands, former US Ambassador to Denmark, attacked both Oz and McCormick. She called Oz “MINO,” “MAGA in name only,” and slammed McCormick as a Pennsylvania version of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who voted to impeach President Trump in the second impeachment.
“But when it comes to life, life is precious. I will always vote to protect life at the beginning of life and at the end of life,” Sands said.
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“Whoever leaked this document did so on purpose to intimidate the Supreme Court,” she added. “We know Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional. It’s now going to go back to the states. And that’s one way, if it’s true, that the people are empowered to make the decisions in every state. I support overturning Roe v. .Wade.
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