“While we have made great progress,” Mike Pence declared at a luncheon on Tuesday, “we have much work left to do.”
It sounds like an inspiring speech. Rousing, even. It sounds like the type of thing you might say when you were talking about advances in healthcare, or education, or gun control. But Mike Pence wasn’t talking about any of those things – he was talking about abortion. Specifically, stripping women of the right to obtain one. Speaking at an anti-abortion event in Tennessee, he went so far as announcing his hope to end abortion “in our time.” Pence told the crowd, "I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America… If all of us do all we can, we can once again, in our time, restore the sanctity of life to the centre of American law.”
Stripping women of their abortion rights is Mike Pence’s raison d'être. It’s what gets him out of bed in the morning and drags him to help lead the government that he will happily shut down if it means women will no longer be able to have autonomy over their own bodies.
As told by Pence, the Trump presidency has made great strides in stripping women of their access to reproductive freedom. At the luncheon, Pence boasted that he had seen more progress in the Trump administration's first year in office than he has in his entire life. Since President Trump took office last year, he has reinstated a rule that will prevent foreign aid going to groups that even discuss abortion rights and signed legislation reversing an Obama-era rule that barred states from defunding Planned Parenthood.
During his 17-year political career, Pence has made opposing abortion his USP, the cornerstone of his incredibly conservative political platform
To Mike Pence, that’s small potatoes. During his 17-year political career, Pence has made opposing abortion his USP, the cornerstone of his incredibly conservative political platform. As Mike Lofgren, a former Republican staffer, told the New Yorker, “He was as far right as you could go without falling off the earth.” When he was in Congress, Pence backed “personhood” legislation that would ban abortion under all circumstances, including rape and incest, unless a woman’s life was at stake. He also sponsored an ultimately unsuccessful amendment to Obama’s Affordable Care Act that would have made it legal for government-funded hospitals to literally turn away a dying woman who needed an abortion. Then, as the Governor of Indiana, he signed a bill that not only banned women from aborting a physically abnormal fetus but also required fetal burial or cremation, including after a miscarriage.
There is no question that Pence’s attitude to women is… twisted. For starters, Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, calls his wife, “Mother”. He has never, not once, dined alone with another woman. He has never even attended an event that women were invited to where alcohol was served without his wife, Karen, being present. To Mike Pence, women are temptresses who cannot be trusted to eat a meal or attend a cocktail party alongside him, let alone make decisions about their own bodies.
Mike Pence doesn’t just want to make it harder for women to obtain an abortion – he wants to burn Roe v Wade to the ground and build a daycare in its place.