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Donald Trump has officially named Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate. Mike Pence has an extensive record of voting for and signing into law bills that attempt to ban abortion and block millions from accessing health care. This choice reaffirms Donald Trump’s repeated commitments to undermining women’s access to safe, legal abortion and other reproductive health care.

"Donald Trump just sent a terrifying message to the women of America: your health and your lives are not important. His running mate, Mike Pence, has been on a years-long crusade against women’s health care and access to abortion in this country, no matter how many women’s lives are put at risk. A Trump-Pence ticket should send a shiver down the spine of women in this country.”


Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund


Who is Mike Pence?

For years, Mike Pence has been on what Politico dubbed a “one-man crusade” to end patients’ access to care at Planned Parenthood. In Congress, he introduced six separate measures aimed at blocking care at Planned Parenthood, and was willing to shut down the federal government rather than allow women to access cancer screenings, birth control and well-woman exams at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Pence also is staunchly anti-abortion, and signed into law one of the most extreme and invasive anti-abortion laws in the country – prompting women to protest en masse in what was dubbed “Periods for Pence.”

In fact, one article claimed, “Nobody hates Planned Parenthood quite as much as Mike Pence.” As governor, his ‘crusade’ against Planned Parenthood ultimately led a Planned Parenthood health center to close its doors in Scott Co., Indiana, a rural county in the midst of an HIV epidemic, leaving no other access to testing and counseling that Planned Parenthood provides every day.   

Pence Has A Long History Of Legislative Attacks On Women And Families

  • Pence was willing to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding: In 2011, Pence said on Morning Joe that “of course” he was willing to “hold up this entire budget over defunding Planned Parenthood.” [Crooks and Liars, 4/5/11]

  • Pence signed a $3.5 million contract with an anti-abortion group to promote biased pregnancy counseling: As governor, Pence signed a contract to take $3.5 million from the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides aid to low-income families, and give it to the Pennsylvania-based anti-abortion group “Real Alternatives,” to “actively promote childbirth instead of abortion.” [The Indy Channel, 10/13/15]

  • In Congress, Pence introduced six separate measures aimed at blocking patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers: He introduced three bills as well as three amendments in an effort to prevent millions of patients from accessing life saving care at Planned Parenthood health centers. [H.R. 217, 1/07/11; H.Amdt.95 to HR 1, 2/17/11; H.R. 614, 1/21/09; H.Amdt.389 to HR 3293, 7/24/09; HR 4133, 11/09/07; H.Amdt.594 to HR 3043, 7/19/07]

  • Politico called Pence’s determination to deny patients care at Planned Parenthood health centers a “one-man crusade” and said that “nobody hates Planned Parenthood quite as much as Mike Pence.” [Politico, 2/16/11]

  • Pence said efforts to block patients from care at  Planned Parenthood were the most “fiscally responsible” way to address issues facing the economy:  Pence told the audience at the 2010 Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition that: "To those who say we should focus on fiscal issues, instead of the right to life, I say, 'What is more fiscally responsible than rolling back this administration's effort to expand funding for abortion at home and abroad? What is more fiscally responsible than denying any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America?" [Politico, 10/4/10]

  • Pence wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned: In 2006, Pence said that Justice Alito should be confirmed because he would “make it possible once and for all to end Roe v. Wade.” [The Washington Post, 1/24/06]

  • Pence has also said: “I long for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history, when we move past the broken hearts and the broken lives of the past 38 years.” [Congressional Record, Pence Floor Remarks on H. Amdt. 95 to HR 1, 2/17/11]

  • Amid Planned Parenthood health center closures, Indiana has seen soaring HIV rates under Gov. Pence — prompting him to declare a public health emergency:  “Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider -- a Planned Parenthood clinic  was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion services. The Scott County clinic and four other Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, all of which provided HIV testing and information, have shuttered since 2011, in large part due to funding cuts to the state's public health infrastructure. Those cuts came amid a national and local political campaign to demonize the health care provider. Now, the state is scrambling to erect pop-up clinics to combat an unprecedented HIV epidemic caused by intravenous drug use.” [Huffington Post, 3/31/15]

  • Public health officials in Indiana condemned Pence for downplaying the risk of HPV and the importance of children getting the highly recommended HPV vaccination — which prevents cervical cancer:  “Experts are concerned that the new language will be less effective at getting parents to vaccinate their kids. ‘The viruses themselves are very common,’ says Dr. Dennis Fortenberry, director of the Center for HPV Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine….‘So we’re talking about a substantial number of people who have cancers that are nearly 100 percent preventable through the use of this vaccine,’ says Fortenberry.” [WYFI Indianapolis, 11/10/15]

  • Pence cosponsored so-called “personhood” legislation: In Congress, Pence cosponsored dangerous so-called “personhood” legislation that, if enacted, could interfere with medical decisions relating to birth control, access to fertility treatment, management of a miscarriage, and access to safe and legal abortion. [H.R. 374, cosponsored 1/20/11]

  • As governor, Pence has signed multiple anti-women’s health measures into law: Including this March, when he passed some of the most invasive and extreme abortion restrictions in the country –– despite strong opposition from the public and the medical community. The law is wide-sweeping and includes a ban on women from seeking abortion care because the child will be born with disability, it mandates that women receive an unnecessary ultrasound 18 hours ahead of getting abortion, and requires that all fetal remains must be buried or cremated, even if the woman has miscarried. [The New York Times, 3/24/16; Vox, 3/26/16]

  • Thousands of people protested outside the Indiana statehouse after Pence signed the anti-abortion bill into law: “...more than 1,000 protesters who gathered outside the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Saturday to rally for women's rights and to protest House Enrolled Act 1337, the controversial abortion bill Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last month.” [Indystar.com, 4/9/16]

  • Additionally, the bill prompted women to call the governor in protest, earning the slogan “Periods for Pence.”

  • As governor, Pence signed a law to legalize discrimination against LGBT people: The law was criticized around the country, leading Pence to “revise” it, but not before costing the state at least $60 million in revenue. [The Huffington Post, 4/2/15; The Advocate, 1/26/16]

  • In Congress, Pence voted multiple times against equal pay measures: Including voting twice times against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is now the law of the land and ensures that workers have protections against pay discrimination. [H.R. 2831, 7/31/07; S. 181, 1/27/09]

Tags: Donald Trump, Election 2016, Mike Pence

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