Ohio gubernatorial candidate and current Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, in a debate on the Ohio News Network last week, avoided answering questions about improving access to birth control by calling the issue “settled,” according to Bush v. Choice, NARAL Pro-Choice America’s blog. His statement was in response to a question on whether he would increase women’s access to birth control if elected. Blackwell has previously said he is supportive of “conscience clauses,” which allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception, both of which can prevent an unintended pregnancy.
Blackwell has also said he is against abortion, and would favor an outright ban on the procedure, minus a partial exception to save the life of the mother. According to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, however, Blackwell said in a September debate that abortion is not ever medically necessary, even to save the life of the woman. “Blackwell’s radical position… shows a complete lack of compassion for women, their doctors, and their families,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.