GOP Senate hopeful Kathy Barnette reveals she is a product of rape

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GOP Senate hopeful Kathy Barnette reveals she is a product of rape

A debate among Republican primary hopefuls for the US Senate turned jaw-droppingly personal during a discussion about abortion — when one of the candidates revealed that she was the child of rape. 

​”I am so very grateful that our nation is having a very important conversation about life,​” ​Kathy Barnette, an Army veteran running for the US Senate in Pennsylvania said during a Wednesday night debate.

“I am the byproduct of a rape. My mother was 11-years-old when I was conceived, my father was 21​.” 

Barnette made the startling admission as she called out Dr. Mehmet Oz, the former TV doctor who’s also running for the Republican nomination, for flip-flopping on abortion, pressing him to say she was not “a lump of cells” before being born.

“I was not just a lump of cells, as you can see I’m still not just a lump of cells​. My life has value and that is one of the reasons why it was very disturbing when I saw Mehmet Oz running for this particular race when I’ve seen him on numerous occasions and specifically at the ​’​Breakfast Club​’ saying that my life was nothing more than an acorn with electrical currents​,” Barnette said.

​”I am wondering if the good doctor has now since changed his position on that. My life is valuable and so are the many lives that find themselves in the womb of their mother, whether in the womb or toward the end of that life​,” she continued.

Republican candidates for Pennsylvania senate pose for photo before they take part in a debate on May 4, 2022.
Republican candidates for Pennsylvania senate pose for photo before they take part in a debate on May 4, 2022.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Oz, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, defended his stance on abortion by recalling his work as a heart surgeon​ and touted the endorsement from his mother-in-law.​​

“My mother-in-law is an ordained minister. She wrote a lot of the pro-life literature in Montgomery County where we live, and she certainly understands that I’m pro-life,” ​Oz said.

“As a heart surgeon, I’ve operated on small children a few days old and witnessed the majesty of their hearts pounding blood, even though ill, because I’m operating on them through those bodies, I would never think of harming that child, or even nine months earlier because life starts at conception​,” he added.​

Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette revealed during that debate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the former TV doctor who's also running for the Republican nomination, for flip-flopping on abortion.
Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette challenged Dr. Mehmet Oz, the former TV doctor who’s also running for the Republican nomination, for flip-flopping on abortion.
REUTERS/Hannah Beier

David McCormick, a hedge fund CEO also in the running, told Oz that referring to his mother-in-law’s endorsement isn’t a sufficient answer.

“If you go back to that ‘Breakfast Club’ interview, which was three years ago this month, he talks about a whole different set of positions,” McCormick said.

He said Oz has “a track record that’s completely opposite” to his positions now.

Dr. O defended his stand on abortion by recalling his work as a heart surgeon​ and touted the endorsement from his mother-in-law.​​
Dr. O defended his stand on abortion by recalling his work as a heart surgeon​ and touted the endorsement from his mother-in-law.​​
AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

“It’s another example of you being phony in terms of the positions you’re putting forward,” he said.

In the 2019 “Breakfast Club” radio show interview, Oz talked about how there are “electrical charges at six weeks,” but the fetus’ heart is not beating. 

“If you were to say, starting from when we can hear the heart, like when the heart is really doing something, that would be different. That’s not six weeks though​,” he said at the time.

“So if you can define life by a beating heart, then make it a beating heart. Not little electrical changes in a cell that no one here would think about as a heart​.”

But in a Twitter posting on Wednesday, the day after Politico published a draft decision from the Supreme Court that showed the justices were poised to overturn the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, Oz agreed the case was “wrongly decided.”

“Abortion laws should be left up to the American people and their elected representatives. I look forward to supporting pro-life legislation that saves innocent lives in the U.S. Senate,” Oz wrote. 

Kathy Barnette revealed that her mother was a rape victim and that she was a product of that rape.
Kathy Barnette revealed that her mother was a rape victim and that she was a product of that rape.
April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier

​​The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, said “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”​​

Alito, a member of the court’s conservative wing, argued that ​”there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Zero. None.​”​​

He concluded by saying the decision whether to restrict abortion rights should be left up to the states. ​

The Republican primary election is on May 17.

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