Donald Trump is under fire after a leaked audio recording from 2005 featured him boasting about assaulting women.
Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence refused to condone Trump’s lewd comments saying in a statement: “As a husband and a father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people.”
However, when it comes to women’s rights, Pence himself is just as bad (if not worse) than Trump.
In 2011, the then-Representative Pence proposed a bill that would cut off federal funding from Planned Parenthood. In the same year, Pence cosponsored the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, a bill that would require a woman seeking abortion to have a mandatory ultrasound which would be used to describe the fetus details to her.
He also cosponsored a bill that “redefine” rape and would prevent federal money to fund women looking for abortion, except in the cases of “forcible rape.” Another bill signed by him enabled hospitals to refuse abortions to pregnant women despite the fact that they might die without it.
Since becoming the governor of Indiana in 2013, Trump’s running mate has signed several abortion bills — including one that stops private insurance providers to offer abortion coverage — and also defunded Planned Parenthood which was forced to close many of its clinics.
As a result, many residents of the state were left without resources for HIV testing (Planned Parenthood clinics were the only health centers to provide the service in some counties) and Indiana suffered a devastating HIV outbreak.
In a particularly heinous move in March, Pence signed one of the worst bills in the country which offered women the “remains” of her fetus after an abortion.
Predictably, when Pence was chosen as Trump’s running mate, anti-abortion campaigners cheered the news. However, it was a despairing day for women’s rights advocates.
“Pence has a rich history of marginalizing women as a politician, the same way Donald Trump has throughout his career and this campaign,” said Marcy Stech, a spokesperson for the pro-choice PAC EMILY’s List. “Together, they are a perfect storm of classic, out of touch, GOP extremism. For the very few women still not convinced that Trump isn’t a threat to women, Gov. Pence should do it—these men are not to be trusted.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts