‘Don’t piss women off’: Democrat John Fetterman makes abortion rights push in Philadelphia suburbs

“Women are the reason we can win,” Fetterman said. “Don’t piss women off.”

The packed rally, which featured aides, volunteers and supporters wearing pink T-shirts with “Fetterwoman” written across the chest and a “Women for Fetterman” sign posted over the speakers, marked Fetterman’s most direct effort yet to appeal to suburban voters angry about the Supreme Court’s June ruling overturning federal abortion rights.

Pennsylvania’s Senate seat is a top pickup opportunity for Democrats looking to hold onto their narrow Senate majority, and Democrats across the country have turned to abortion rights to galvanize their base heading into November.

“If every abortion is a murder, that means that Dr. Oz considers every woman who had to choose an abortion is a killer,” Fetterman said. “Think about that.”

A number of outlets, including CNN, recently reported that Oz said during the GOP primary that abortion is “still murder” early in a pregnancy since “life starts at conception” — a statement that would have sweeping policy implications on an issue that has invigorated Democrats this cycle.

“Dr. Oz supports exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother,” Oz communications director Brittany Yanick said in response to Fetterman’s remarks.

Introducing the Democratic candidate, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, his wife, tried make the stakes clear — echoing a line that Democrats across the country have adopted since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

“This November,” she said, “abortion rights are on the ballot here in Pennsylvania.”

The raucous event — which began during the opening games of the NFL season — came less than a day after Oz, at a rally less than an hour away in Newtown with Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, again criticized Fetterman for not committing to a debate date.

Fetterman, who mostly focused on abortion rights and a promise to oppose the filibuster as part of codifying Roe v. Wade, tried to turn the tables on Oz amid continued attacks over his health, telling the audience that people have recently asked him to describe what it’s like to have a stroke.

“Pretend I want to go to Wegman’s,” Fetterman said, alluding to Oz’s infamous viral video from inside a supermarket. “But I’m actually in a Redner’s, but I would tell you I’m shopping in a Wegner’s.”

“Sometimes I mush two words together,” he deadpanned.

But like the speakers that preceded him, including US Reps. Madeleine Dean and Mary Gay Scanlon; Dr. Val Arkoosh, a former primary rival and chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners; and Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Alexis McGill Johnson, Fetterman drilled down on Oz for describing abortion as “murder.”

He also gave a nod to the Democratic nominee for governor, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is running against far-right Republican Doug Mastriano, who supports a total ban on abortion.

“The dream of Republicans here in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said, “is to turn us into Texas.”

Dayle Steinberg, the leader of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, cast Oz as two-faced and said he was attempting to muddle the abortion debate.

“Despite the Hippocratic Oath that Dr. Oz took to do no harm, he was caught calling abortion at any stage of a pregnancy ‘murder,'” Steinberg said. “To hear Oz’s real opinion on abortion, you need a hot mic.”

Other speakers, like Dean, mocked Oz’s medical credentials.

“You have the power, with your vote, to send the TV doctor back to New Jersey,” Dean said, “and to send John Fetterman to DC.”

McGill Johnson, the Planned Parenthood chief, called Oz a “charlatan” that, if elected, “would be a rubber stamp for (Senate GOP Leader) Mitch McConnell.”

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