House Candidate Fershee Voices Pro-Choice Stance

Kendra Fershee, Democrat nominee for West Virginia’s 1st District U.S. House seat, conducts a town hall forum Friday night at West Virginia Northern Community College.

Kendra Fershee, Democrat nominee for West Virginia’s 1st District U.S. House seat, advocates for making free contraceptives more available to the public, and abortions “unnecessary.”

Fershee took on the topic of abortion during a town hall forum Friday night at West Virginia Northern Community College. The event was sponsored by the Ohio County Democratic Women, and about 40 people were in attendance.

Fershee is challenging U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., in the Nov. 6 general election.

“I am pro-choice because I am for health care for women, and that is part of health care for women,” Fershee said. “This is a departure I have with my opponent. He wants to make abortions criminal. I want to make them unnecessary.”

She said this can be achieved through comprehensive contraception, and by supporting families.

“If people don’t feel like they can raise a child in today’s world because they don’t make enough money to feed it, that makes the fact they are pregnant very, very difficult and their lives impossible,” Fershee said. “So we have got to support families, and let them know whatever choice they make will be supported. There are easy ways to do this.”

She referenced the state of Colorado, where free intrauterine devices are provided to the public.

The result is the number of teen pregnancies have been cut in half since the program began in 2009 with a donation from the family of billionaire Warren Buffett.

“We know how to do this,” she said. “If we are truly serious about cutting abortion rates, we have to make sure people have contraception and we support families.

“I will tell you — abortion rates always drop when Democrats are in power,” she said, although she did not provide information to support her statement.

Fershee works as an associate dean for academic affairs at the West Virginia University College of Law, where her husband, Joshua, is a law school professor.

She describes herself as a working mother and wife who continues in her job because she couldn’t afford to quit it to run for office.

“The truth is I love my job,” Fershee said. “I like being a teacher. I like my students. Even if I didn’t like my job, I couldn’t quit it to run.

“My philosophy is we need more people running who can’t afford to quit their job,” she said. “We need more people who have to juggle more responsibilities in order to get through the day. We need more people who know what a gallon of milk costs.”

She believes a candidate also should have knowledge about people from all walks of life.

“We need someone who has the experience that women have, and people of color running for Congress,” Fershee said. “We need people who are LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and those questioning their orientation), as well as people who are representative of our communities.”

Fershee said during the forum she favors universal health care, and the decoupling of health care insurance from employment.

On the issue of medical cannabis, she said she is in favor of the federal government stepping back and allowing states to regulate their own distribution of the drug.

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