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Seven Reasons to Say No to Mike Pence

It’s enraging — Mike Pence has used his backward agenda to erode the rights we fought so hard to attain. For the sake of our freedoms and our lives, we cannot afford to let this extremist and his nightmare boss keep control of the White House. 

As vice president in the Trump White House, Pence has done everything in his power to actively control people’s bodies. His obsession with restricting others’ ability to make their own decisions is laser-focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and on people like immigrants, women, and LGBTQ+ people.

But when it comes to COVID-19, health care coverage, and other basic health needs everyone has, Pence pulls a 180: He has abdicated his responsibilities, failed to provide a national plan or robust response, and completely ignored people’s needs. 

Pence’s ongoing attacks on people’s rights and health care access reflect his restrictive beliefs on sex, sexuality, and gender identity. He’s been turning those extreme beliefs into dangerous, deadly policy. We can’t let the nightmare continue. 

1. His COVID-19 ‘Response’ Has Been Terrifyingly Awful

2. He Is Upending Access to Health Care Coverage

  • Trump and Pence used the first year of their administration to work with Congress to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and block patients from Planned Parenthood health centers.

  • Pence has continued leading the government’s attempts to repeal the ACA and sabotage its gains along the way. That includes proliferating paltry, bare-bones plans that do not meet ACA guidelines for coverage, and encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn the entire law.

  • Meanwhile, Pence gave many of his protégés powerful positions in the administration to take health care away from people with low incomes. Under Pence’s watch, for example, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) head Seema Verma is allowing states to cut off access to Planned Parenthood health centers for people with Medicaid. The CMS also is eroding Medicaid expansion and encouraging states to use "block grant" systems for Medicaid — which likely will result in fewer enrollees, fewer covered services, and fewer providers who accept Medicaid patients.

3. He’s the Original ‘Defund’ Planned Parenthood Guy

  • Pence has been fixated on cutting off people’s access to Planned Parenthood health centers throughout his career. In fact, he invented the idea of “defunding” Planned Parenthood. As an Indiana representative in 2007, Pence brought the very first piece of federal legislation to a vote on the House floor to block patients from using federal health care programs (like Medicaid) for preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

  • As governor of Indiana, Pence oversaw deep funding cuts to Planned Parenthood health centers.

4. He Played a Key Role in the Limiting People’s Access to the Only Federal Program Dedicated to Affordable Birth Control

  • Pence doubled down on his attacks on Planned Parenthood as VP by working with Trump to dismantle Title X, the only federal program dedicated to providing affordable birth control and other preventive reproductive health care to people with low incomes. Before these attacks, Planned Parenthood health centers served 40% of Title X’s 4 million participants.

  • Since 1970, the Title X program has fought health care inequity by serving populations that have historically faced significant barriers to care, including people of color. About 22% of Title X patients identify as Black or African American and 33% identify as Hispanic or Latino.

  • In March 2017, as one of his first major acts as vice president, Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to encourage states to exclude Planned Parenthood from its Title X family planning programs. Pence said it was one of his “proudest moments.”

  • Later, Pence led the charge to impose a nationwide Title X gag rule. The gag rule stops health care providers from telling patients how and where to access abortion. It also imposes onerous requirements designed to block people from care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

  • The gag rule forced Planned Parenthood out of Title X, leaving 1.5 million former Planned Parenthood patients in the lurch. In dismantling Title X, the Trump-Pence administration exacerbated what is already a massive divide between those who have and don’t have access to affordable health care in this country. Of course, Pence gloated about it

“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.”

— Mike Pence on the House Floor, Feb. 17, 2011

5. He’s Pushing the Country Closer to Banning Abortion


  • Pence predicted that legal abortion would end "in our time" and that “this will be the generation” to outlaw abortion. He also told the March for Life that its movement to ban abortion is “winning.”

  • For proof, Pence pointed to the Trump administration's restrictions on access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers, even though the restrictions only block people from accessing preventive care there. Pence also cited the administration’s expansion of the Global Gag Rule, which bans overseas groups from U.S. funding if they provide or advocate for abortion. Pence has long lobbied for the Global Gag Rule, which has closed clinics and led to unsafe abortions abroad. 

  • Pence is spreading lies about abortion later in pregnancy to shame pregnant people and make doctors sound like criminals.

  • If re-elected, Pence will work even harder to “win” — that is, to keep abortion access away from people with low incomes, force more pregnant people to stay pregnant against their will, and outlaw abortion completely. 

6. He Played a Key Role in Limiting People’s Access to Birth Control Coverage Through the ACA


  • The ACA’s birth control benefit expanded contraceptive coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for more than 62 million women, including 17 million Latinas and 15 million Black women. But Pence and Trump have rolled back the ACA’s guarantee of no-copay birth control coverage.

  • In a devastating blow to birth control access, Pence and Trump issued rules — recently upheld by the Supreme Court — that allow universities and employers to deny birth control coverage to students and employees based on personal beliefs.

  • If Pence and Trump remain in power, their policies are estimated to end birth control coverage for as many as hundreds of thousands of workers and students who get health care coverage through their jobs and schools.

7. He Has Attacked Sex Education & LGBTQ Rights

  • Pence spearheaded a huge shift in federal funding AWAY from sex education that ensures young people have the tools they need to protect themselves, plan for their futures, make informed decisions, and have healthy relationships — and which studies prove are effective at improving health outcomes for young people. Instead, Pence and key staffers tried to dismantle these programs. They awarded taxpayer money to organizations like crisis pregnancy centers, which give people misinformation about abortion to promote their abstinence-only-until-marriage agenda.

  • The Trump-Pence administration changed the federal agency designed to protect civil rights in health care and created a brand new division of Conscience and Religious Freedom within the Office for Civil Rights. The new division is one of many ways Pence is promoting refusal policies to let health care workers deny access to services contrary to their personal beliefs — such as hormone treatment, HIV treatment, or abortion. The policies particularly hurt LGBTQ+ people and women.

We Decide 2020

Here’s the kicker: Pence isn’t letting up. Just as he intensified his attacks on Planned Parenthood when he got to the White House, Pence is primed to raise the stakes in 2021 if he remains in office — not just against Planned Parenthood, but against all the health, rights, and values we mention above. We can’t let him and Trump get another four years. Our very lives and our democracy are at stake. 

Everything is on the line in 2020. As we continue to face a surging pandemic and a national reckoning over systemic racism, this election is about our survival and our future.

We will not allow Pence and Trump to decide what is best for our bodies and our communities. With our votes this year, WE decide.