By opposing reproductive rights, Vice President Mike Pence is turning out to be a potent fundraiser for reproductive rights through Planned Parenthood.
Since 2016, celebrities like Amy Schumer and Mila Kunis have announced they were donating to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name. Now, the nonprofit is using Pence as an unofficial anti-spokesman.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 7, 2018
Today, Planned Parenthood Action invited Twitter followers to donate in Pence’s name in honor of his 59th birthday. “Ruin his day,” they tweeted. “Donate and give a #PresentforPence.”
Pence has a long history of anti-abortion rhetoric and legislation. As Indiana governor, he oversaw a state that had some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country and worked to enact more. In April, an anti-abortion law he signed as governor in 2016 was ruled to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; it would have outlawed abortion in the event of genetic abnormalities.
As a member of Congress, Pence worked to federally defund Planned Parenthood and co-sponsored “personhood” legislation calling for constitutional rights at the moment of conception. In March 2017, Pence served as the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to withhold federal funds to clinics that perform abortions. (Since the 1976 Hyde Amendment, there has been no federal Medicaid funding for abortions, except in the event of rape or incest, of if the pregnancy threatened the life of the mother.)
Because Planned Parenthood provides several basic health services, withholding federal dollars could compromise the ability of low-income women to get checkups, cancer testing and more.
Last month, the Trump administration proposed a new “gag rule” that would prevent doctors who receive Title X federal funding from even referring their patients to abortion providers. The Atlantic reported that eight major doctors’ groups have criticized the proposal as a dangerous intrusion on the doctor-patient relationship.
This month, Planned Parenthood launched a new app, Tracking Trump, to disseminate news about the administration’s challenges to reproductive rights.