Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Wednesday that he has withdrawn Day Gardner’s name to serve on the state Board of Physicians following criticism over her advocacy against doctors who perform abortions.
Hogan said Gardner asked that her name be removed from consideration.
Gardner is the third nominee withdrawn by Hogan in the last two weeks.
Women’s rights groups had questioned whether the Bowie resident was a suitable candidate to serve on a board that authorizes physicians’ licenses and investigates complaints against them.
Several members of the Senate Executive Nominations Committee asked Gardner tough questions about her work with the National Black Pro Life Union, a group she founded. But the panel ultimately voted 12-3 Monday night to support her nomination. The full Senate was expected to consider her nomination this week.
But Hogan said Wednesday that Gardner has since removed herself from consideration. Gardner could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland asked the Senate committee to reject Gardner’s nomination and said this week that it planned to urge the full Senate to oppose her. Diana Philip, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, said supporters of her group sent more than 250 emails over the past 24 hours to senators and to the governor’s office opposing the nomination.
“She didn’t want to go through that kind of thing and so we did withdraw her nomination,” Hogan said.
The governor said he does not have a “litmus test” that requires all of his appointees to have identical views. “Just because the woman happens to be pro-life instead of pro-choice wasn’t a reason to attack her,” Hogan said.
This week, Hogan withdrew Wendi Peters’s name as his choice to head the Department of Planning, opting not to have the full Senate consider the nomination after a Senate committee rejected her as unqualified. And last week, Brandon Cooper, the governor’s nominee to join the state Board of Education, withdrew his name from consideration after he was grilled by state senators over his legal and financial history, which includes drunk-driving charges and state liens for nonpayment of taxes.