Well, it’s official. On the eve of the of the Republican National Convention we now know who presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump has chosen for his running mate: Indiana Governor Mike Pence. If this name sounds familiar to you it might be because in April Cycledork featured Gov. Pence in an article about his Draconian stance on abortion and how he made national news when women of Indiana began trolling him about their periods.
Since the “TP” Trump/Pence Republican ticket announcement, the #periodsforpence social media campaign has grown even stronger…and louder. With the addition of the new #tamponsfortrump launched this week (and bolstered by Trump’s egregious period history) the campaign has gone national, with women across the country calling up Pence and Trump campaign HQs to inform them of their periods and school them on how women’s bodies work, and troll the hell out of them asking about things like how they should empty their Diva cup.
“While it may seem trivial to call about your period, it’s sending a very specific message that there are women out there who value the ability to make their own decisions for their health and their health care,” said the woman organizing “Tampons for Trump” in an anonymous interview with STAT news. “And this is our way of sending that message.”
— Tampons For Trump (@TamponsForTrump) July 15, 2016
As for Pence, this isn’t the first time this staunchly conservative governor made national news for controversial laws. In March, Gov. Pence signed a bill into law that allows businesses to refuse service to the LGBTQ community on the basis of religious beliefs. This triggered a protest from the public as well as celebrities, athletes, corporate leaders and state and city governments who called for a boycott of the state.
The scary thing is, as conservative a state as Indiana is, Pence barely won his bid for the governor’s mansion in 2012 and was predicted to lose his re-election race this fall to Democratic opponent John Gregg. And in the current political climate where emotions and tensions are running high, it appears Trump’s selection of uber-conservative Gov. Pence is his last ditch attempt to balance out a bombastic and divisive track record of egotism and controversial rhetoric. But is Gov. Pence really the antidote to Trump’s hate-speech, bigotry and sexism?
Here are a few other things Mike Pence has done as governor and state representative in Indiana:
- Authored bills to block federal funds for Planned Parenthood which led to state funding for Planned Parenthood to be cut nearly in half forcing the closure of smaller PP clinics that provided STD and HIV testing, this led to a major HIV outbreak in Scott County Indiana
- Co-sponsored an amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage
- Voted against the Employee Non-Discrimination Act
- Attempted to restrict the Hyde Amendment from funding abortions in the case of rape, incests or to save the life of the mother
- Voted in favor of a bill that would allow for the detention of undocumented workers who sought medical treatment
- Voted against additional funding for Section 8 housing
- Signed a TRAP law to require Planned Parenthood clinics that provided medicated abortions to meet the same facility standard as clinics the provided surgical abortions – Planned Parenthood sued and the law was overturned
- Voted against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
- Signed a law banning private insurance from covering abortion for a pregnancy that was the result of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother
- Co-sponsored a bill to refuse citizenship to children born in the US to undocumented parents
- Voted ‘yes’ in support of building a wall on the US-Mexico border
- Voted against expanding health care coverage to low-income children
- Refused to follow Obama administration rules that attempt to reduce the instance of rape among prison inmates
- Signed a measure holding abortion providers liable for wrongful death if a woman sought an abortion on the basis of race, gender or disability of the fetus (thankfully a federal judge blocked this law)
- Voted against a minimum-wage hike
Is a Trump-Pence presidency really what’s best for our country? What’s for sure, it’s not good for periods and it’s not good for women’s reproductive rights.
Photo: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a rally in Westfield, Ind., Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Amy Lembcke is a period-positive advocate and graduate student at the University of Minnesota where she is currently researching and writing her thesis on how menstrual stereotypes and stigmas affect health outcomes in women and girls. Read her full bio here.