Since coming to the White House, Vice President Mike Pence has hardened his extreme anti-woman agenda — all while framing his attacks on our health and rights with sweet-sounding platitudes.
We won’t be silent as Pence tries to impose his radical, dangerous, and highly unpopular agenda on this country. Here's what Mike Pence actually wants to do about health care access; what lovely things he’s recently said to describe his agenda; and, importantly, what you can do to fight back..
What Mike Pence wants: Pence plans to take health care services away from millions of women across America.
What Mike Pence says:
“We will devote...resources to health care services for women across America.”
Um, no. Pence indicated that he’s getting extra “resources” from money left over now that President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the harmful global gag rule — a move that will cause health centers to close around the globe and hurt the world’s most vulnerable women and girls. Pence also said he’d rake in the dough by blocking organizations that provide abortion from “taxpayer funding.” What he really means is that he wants to “defund” Planned Parenthood and block patients who rely on federal programs from care at its health centers.
The real deal: “Defunding” Planned Parenthood and shutting down health centers would cause a national health care crisis, leaving millions with nowhere to turn for basic reproductive health care like birth control and cancer screenings.
Approximately 60% of Planned Parenthood patients rely on public health care programs like Medicaid and Title X to access care, and most of those patients use Medicaid. The people who would be hurt the most by “defunding” are people who have historically faced barriers to quality health care, especially people of color, young people, people in rural areas, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ people.
Even the term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it’s not a line in the budget. Instead, “defunding” would prevent millions of women who rely on Medicaid from accessing the health care provider they’ve been depending on for decades. The term is motivated by anti-abortion ideology, but the truth is that "defunding" Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with funding for abortion — an unfair law already prohibits federal funding for abortion. Instead, “defunding” cuts women off from cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and other preventive care.
What Mike Pence wants: Pence wants the Supreme Court to take away women’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortion.
What Mike Pence says:
“President Donald Trump will announce a Supreme Court nominee who will uphold the God-given liberties enshrined in our Constitution.”
Remember, Pence has advocated for a ban on abortion with no exceptions — even if it means leaving a woman to die. His extreme crusade against safe, legal abortion is unpopular, dangerous, and potentially deadly.
Here’s the thing Pence left out: Public support for access to safe, legal abortion is at a record high — with 70% of Americans not wanting to see Roe V. Wade overturned, the highest since the case was decided more than 40 years ago.
Also, the abortion rate has dropped below one million per year for the first time since Roe v. Wade was decided — and that’s due to increased use of effective contraception, NOT because of restrictions on access to abortion. In fact, a recent report found that the abortion rate decreased most in states that have invested in access to family planning and have little to no restrictions on access to abortion.
What Mike Pence wants: Pence actually would make life harder for many, many Americans — especially women.
What Mike Pence says:
“We must meet this moment with respect and compassion for every American.”
In Indiana, Pence’s policies as governor made a preventable HIV epidemic worse, and he passed restrictions on abortion so extreme that even his fellow Republicans denounced him.
If Pence had true compassion for others, he would listen to the majority of Americans and stop attacking Planned Parenthood. A new poll out found that 62% of voters are opposed to “defunding” Planned Parenthood -- and only 12% support “defunding” once they learn what it actually means (remember, that’s cutting patients off from health care).
If Pence were really compassionate, he would let women get the safe, high-quality reproductive health care they want and need.
Bottom line: Americans do not want, and did not vote for, Pence’s extreme anti-woman agenda. On Day 2 of this administration, millions of people — one in every 100 in this country — took to the streets to make clear they will not stand for attacks on women’s health. And that was only the beginning.
Take Action: Be a Planned Parenthood Defender
Defenders are a core group of supporters who have said they'll give their time to defend Planned Parenthood, the health services they provide, and the people who rely on them — in what just may be the fight of our lives.