“Are My Cramps God’s Way of Punishing Me For Not Procreating?” and Other Questions for Mike Pence

I originally wrote this last year before the election, but never published it. I thought it might still be relevant now. 

“I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican,” Mike Pence announced last July at the RNC. Funny — at the time, I thought he was also the de facto OBGYN for every single woman in Indiana. Maybe he was just trying to not brag about his qualifications? Maybe he was hoping we’d forget?

And forget we did. In all the talk about Trump, Sessions, Flynn, Spicer, and the rest of the merry band of idiots in the administration, it seems Forgettable Pence remains, well, forgettable.

Mike Pence has been a bane of my existence ever since he signed HB 1337, which would have made Indiana home to the most restrictive abortion laws on the books if a judge hadn’t struck it down. When Trump picked Pence for his running mate, I was not one of the many asking “Who is Mike Pence?” And as people have called for the impeachment of Trump, I have been the one saying, “but only if it’s a two for one!” But that doesn’t mean I don’t have plenty of questions for Mike Pence. Because oh Lord, do I ever.

  • Do you still believe Mulan was liberal propaganda? What steps can we take to keep women from joining the military in 2016?

In 1999, Mike Pence wrote an op-ed that described the Disney cartoon Mulan as “Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.” If you aren’t familiar with the movie, it was a cartoon that  depicted  a fantastical fiction of a woman: one who was weak, feeble (as we all are!), and of childbearing age, yet was able to join the military and fight bad guys. As if!

Pence points to then-current happenings in the country to prove that Mulan is poison for young minds. His shock and horror doesn’t seem to be too focused on the female victims, but instead on the fact that men and women are housed together.

“Young, nubile, 18 year old men and women were actually being HOUSED together during basic training. Whatever bone head came up with this idea should be run out of this man’s Army before sundown. Housing, in close quarters, young men and women (in some cases married to non-military personnel) at the height of their physical and sexual potential is the height of stupidity.”

Pence glosses over the idea of men being sexually assaulted in the military. Thirteen years later, the DoD released a study that showed the majority of sexual assaults in the military were against men. I cannot find anything from Mike Pence referencing the dangers of being male in the military. When will the VP nominee respond to criticism of his old article? Will he speak out on the horrors of having men and men housed together? Did anyone ever tell him Disney didn’t create the character Mulan out of thin air?

Maybe Pence didn’t think about men being sexually assaulted because he was such a big fan of the policy that didn’t allow gay men to serve in the military

  • Do you believe that the courts got feticide wrong? Would you prefer every woman who seeks an abortion gets 20 years in jail, or should they just bleed out and die?

Under Mike Pence’s reign in Indiana, Purvi Patel was charged and convicted of feticide for inducing an abortion. Patel took pills to self induce the abortion, and threw the fetus in a dumpster afterwards. She then went to the hospital for treatment, telling them she had had a miscarriage. After a doctor suspected the fetus could be alive, it was found and Patel was both charged and convicted of feticide. Indiana’s appeals court recently overturned the feticide conviction, saying that it wasn’t intended for abortions. Of course, this is three years after Patel was initially charged — and she still faces up to three years in jail for leaving the fetus in a dumpster.

No matter how you feel about Patel’s particular situation, the implication here is that women who genuinely miscarry could be held criminally liable for something beyond their control. This extends to women who suffer from addiction or mental health issues that could cause harm to a fetus. Another woman from Indiana, Bei Bei Shuai, tried to kill herself with rat poison soon after her boyfriend left her and their unborn child. Thirty three weeks after conception, her attempted suicide resulted in a miscarriage — and she was charged with feticide.

Of course, the idea of feticide was created to “protect” pregnant women — not from themselves, but from violence by others. I would guess that Shuai and Patel feel like they’ve suffered plenty at the hands of the Indiana government.

  • Do you hope to expand the HIV outbreak you caused in Scott County, Indiana to more US cities?

Pence, like almost all Republicans, has a hard on over the idea of demolishing all Planned Parenthoods. In 2011, Pence began to work to defund Planned Parenthood. By the time he was Governor, he had nearly halved the amount of state funding for PP. But no matter how many times they’re told, conservatives just don’t like to listen when presented with the facts about the services Planned Parenthood provides. One such service is testing for STDs, including HIV. When Scott County’s Planned Parenthood had to shutter its doors (despite the fact that they had never performed an abortion in their clinic)

  • Are you actually high with power now that your track record of treating women constituents as subhuman means you can hope to overturn Roe v. Wade?

There’s nothing to say here but what Pence himself said:

If we appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court as Donald Trump intends to do, I believe we will see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.

I don’t know. I think the Presidential duo of 2017 belongs in the ash heap of history.

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