Leaked Audio Shows Dr. Oz Calling Abortion ‘Murder’

“I do believe life starts at conception, and I’ve said that multiple times,” Oz added during a campaign event.
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at a rally on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at a rally on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen / Getty Images)

Dr. Mehmet Oz’s Pennsylvania Senate campaign has somehow hit yet another stumbling block: The TV personality known to millions as “Dr. Oz” has declared that abortion is murder, regardless of how early in the pregnancy it occurs—a position that likely puts him at odds with most of Pennsylvania’s electorate.

“I do believe life starts at conception, and I’ve said that multiple times,” Oz told attendees at a tele-town hall the week before the Republican primary in May, according to audio obtained by the Daily Beast. He continued, “If life starts at conception, 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.”

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The declaration came to light as other anti-abortion Republicans have run for cover four weeks after Kansans voted in overwhelming numbers to protect abortion rights. Several Republicans have recently tried to quietly play down their past support for abortion restrictions by removing or altering mentions of their abortion stances from their websites. 

Pennsylvania, in particular, is seeing sky-high support for abortion: Nine in 10 Pennsylvania voters support abortion access in some way, according to Franklin & Marshall College poll results published last week. The poll was the first conducted by Franklin & Marshall College since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, upending decades of abortion law and turbocharging Americans’ feelings about the procedure that was a constitutional right for decades.

The Oz campaign didn’t respond to the Beast’s request for comment.

Throughout his campaign, Oz has been repeatedly criticized for being out of touch with Pennsylvanians. He became the laughingstock of the internet earlier this month, when he released a video of himself shopping for “crudité” at a grocery store he called “Wegners”—a grocery store that does not exist and is apparently a portmanteau of the Redner’s and Wegmans grocery store chains.

A spokesperson for John Fetterman, the Democrat running against Oz, seized on his anti-abortion remarks as further evidence that he doesn’t want what Pennsylvanians want.

“Dr. Oz wants to let extremists ban abortion with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest—in PA and across the country,” the spokesperson told the Beast. “If he’s elected, he will be a rubber stamp to criminalize abortion, appoint justices even more radical than today’s, and send doctors, nurses, and patients to jail.”

Oz has said that he does back abortions in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnant person’s life is in danger. Abortion bans also tend to target medical professionals who perform abortions, not people who undergo them, although abortion patients have faced criminal consequences in the past.