Anti-abortion official named to Ohio medical board

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A key figure amid Ohio's feuding anti-abortion factions has landed a seat on the state medical board.

Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) named Mike Gonidakis (gawn-ih-DAW'-kis) to the panel that regulates doctors in October and state senators confirmed him Thursday.

Gonidakis was executive director of Ohio Right to Life until last December. The organization is Ohio's oldest and largest anti-abortion group, and was a key road block to the stringent "heartbeat bill."

The failed bill would have banned most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

Right to Life remained neutral, citing constitutional concerns, and several board members defected, including movement founder Jack Willke (WIHL'-kee), a Cincinnati doctor.

Kasich has also appointed Right to Life board chairman Marshal Pitchford to a panel reviewing replacements to an Ohio Supreme Court vacancy.

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