Columbus — The Ohio Senate is considering the appointment of Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis to a second five-year term on the State Medical Board of Ohio. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio raises the highest objection to this irresponsible political appointment.
 
The Senate Health Committee will vote on this appointment at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3. A final confirmation vote before the full Senate is expected on Wednesday, October 4.
 
Before the hearing, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “John Kasich was just on cable news, acting like he would leave the Republican Party if they don’t change their culture of corruption. Tough talk, but this appointment is cronyism at it’s worst and business as usual.
 
“Gov. Kasich gifted Gonidakis a seat on the State Medical Board in 2012 in exchange for his political support. This board is the government agency responsible for investigating and disciplining physicians and other medical professionals. Gonidakis’ conflicts of interest are too deep for Gov. Kasich to make this appointment responsibly.”
 
Just last month, Gonidakis joined with Created Equal, a group that constantly harasses medical professionals outside of their homes and offices, simply because they provide abortion care to their patients. He has also partnered with Operation Rescue, an organization led by a woman who served jail time for attempting to firebomb an abortion clinic. Gonidakis regularly states his belief that abortion isn’t healthcare. Someone with this extreme ideological bent should not have a place on the Ohio State Medical Board.
 
Copeland continued: “This appointment is a clear conflict of interest. Just like anyone else, Ohio Right to Life has the ability to file complaints against medical providers; but with Gonidakis on the board, they also get to investigate and decide punishment.”
 
Gonidakis has stepped into other conflicts as well, taking on lobbying clients in the medical marijuana field despite the medical board’s role in giving direction to physicians on how to prescribe the drug.
 
Additional background
 
The Akron Beacon Journal editorial board has previously opposed this appointment:
 
Conflict at the state medical board
 
The American Prospect wrote on the dangers of allowing anti-abortion extremists to have seats on state medical boards:
 
The Doctor Is Out
 
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