Just two days after Donald Trump announced that Indiana’s governor, Mike Pence, was going to join him on the ticket, the reaction has been lukewarm. On the Republican side, it’s because Pence lacks the charisma of a slug and on the Democratic side, it’s because Pence signs laws like the one that mandated that fetuses get funerals. Think about that for a moment. It’s not even mandated that fully formed humans have funerals.
In an era when abortion clinics are being shut down, when Planned Parenthood is being falsely accused of selling baby parts, and when the GOP frontrunner feels comfortable tweeting that a woman must have her period, it’s clear that the Republican party has a problem with women.
That problem was made even worse when Donald Trump chose Pence as his running mate. It’s possible that Pence is the most anti-woman candidate every to grace a major party ticket.
Pence, who Trump obviously didn’t choose for his brains, once cited the Disney animated film “Mulan” as proof that women shouldn’t be in the military.
“Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,” Pence wrote in the op-ed, which was first reported by Buzzfeed.
“Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military,” wrote Pence, who was a talk show host in Indiana at the time.
“It is instructive that even in the Disney film, young Ms. Mulan falls in love with her superior officer! Me thinks the politically correct Disney types completely missed the irony of this part of the story,” writes Pence.
“They likely added it because it added realism with which the viewer could identify with the characters. You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually. Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.”
Source: The Hill
Pence is very anti-choice, but so is most of the Republican party. The law he signed, though, went way further than “just” stopping women from obtaining abortions; it required women who lose their fetus, whether through abortion or miscarriage, to arrange funeral services.
The law says that “a miscarried or aborted fetus must be interred or cremated by a facility having possession of the remains,” and requires “a person or facility having possession of a miscarried or aborted fetus to ensure that the miscarried fetus or aborted fetus is preserved until final disposition occurs.”
Most miscarriages happen before a woman even know she’s pregnant, and not to get too graphic, but most fetal tissue ends up in the toilet. Many miscarriages happen without the woman knowing she was ever pregnant. With that law, even under those circumstances, a woman could become a criminal.
The backlash was swift. The pro-choice advocacy group, the Guttmacher Institute said of the law:
“I don’t think we know what the impact is going to be. This has never been required before for all fetal tissue,” Nash said. She said abortion clinics would probably have to contract with funeral homes, which could be costly or a hassle — and it’s possible that funeral homes would face political pressure not to enter into those contracts, as many hospitals do already.
There was also a Facebook page, called Periods for Pence, in which women share details about their periods.
Fortunately, the law was blocked by a federal judge, but the Periods for Pence page lives on.
Featured image via Drew Angerer at Getty Images.