Blackwell and Strickland met with the Dispatch editorial board yesterday, and some weird stuff went down. One of the oddest moments, IMO, was the abortion showdown (emphasis mine):
Strickland, who supports abortion rights, said Blackwell said he opposed abortion under any circumstance during the GOP primary campaign to cater to the religious right, but “has since nuanced that in a rather clever way” to allow an abortion to save the life of the mother.
Blackwell, who would be Ohio?s first black governor, denied that he had altered his position, invoking both his race and his daughters and contending that medical science has advanced to a point where choosing between the life of the mother or baby is “no longer the dilemma the medical profession had to deal with.”
Strickland replied that “every physician I?ve talked with” has told him that Blackwell?s assertion “is just flat out wrong.”
Blackwell, holding his hand almost in Strickland?s face, replied: “Take a look at the color of my skin. There would be very few people of this color if the instinct of the slave that was brutally attacked, the slave woman, was to kill the baby. ? Rape victims can have medical treatment that will prevent pregnancy from taking place.”
Blackwell later said the socalled “morning-after pill” and other procedures could be used to prevent pregnancy of a rape victim.
However, if one of his two daughters became pregnant after being raped and waited to tell anyone, Blackwell said, the “more traumatic choice for that young woman, in this case my daughter,” would be to abort the child rather than carry it to term.
“It ought to be her choice,” Strickland interjected.
Blackwell responded: “That is where we differ.”
First, Blackwell makes the odd declaration that black people would exist in far fewer numbers if pregnancy-by-rape had been avoidable by slave women. It reads like an endorsement of the rape of black slave women, but frankly I’m completely baffled by it and not sure what to make of it.
Finally, he clearly states that he believes he should have control over his (grown) daughters’ bodies.
Then there was a strong indication of the traditional GOP hypocracy:
Blackwell took Strickland to task for participating in an April meet-and-greet event with clients of Brian K. Hicks, Taft?s former chief of staff who was convicted last year for not reporting gifts from former coin dealer Thomas W. Noe.
Hicks later told The Dispatch he arranged a similar event for about 25 clients with Blackwell in February at Blackwell?s request.
I think Strickland shouldn’t have held that meet-and-greet, but Blackwell is hardly the man to be calling him out for it.
In all, quite weird. I don’t think Blackwell did himself any favors here.