Look, there’s been a lot of hullabaloo about Donald Trump – the barely literate, fantastically wealthy President-elect who has no hobbies to speak of – and very little about his Vice President, Mike Pence. Which is unfortunate, because while Trump is a loose cannon with a whole bunch of awful ideas, he doesn’t actually have a particularly firm grasp on how America’s bureaucracy actually works.
Mike Pence, on the other hand, does. He’s the one who is the staunch ultraconservative with a view toward walking back things like same-sex marriage, LGBT rights, abortion rights and so on. Trump doesn’t give a shit about gay marriage and abortion, let’s be real here. He’s a high society New Yorker for fuck’s sake, that shit is totally above board for him. Pence does care, on the other hand, and there’s a real chance we’ll get a Bush / Cheney style shadow government going on in those kind of social policy areas.
If there’s going to be a real push against women’s access to health services under a Trump government, Pence will probably be the bloke behind it.
To that end, a grassroots idea spread to start donating to reproductive health organisation Planned Parenthood – which Pence hates with a burning passion – in his name. Back in 2007, while a member of Congress, Pence pushed to remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood because they offer abortions.
“If Planned Parenthood wants to be involved in providing counseling services and HIV testing, they ought not be in the business of providing abortions,” Pence told Politico in 2011. “As long as they aspire to do that, I’ll be after them.”
Abortions are a very narrow area of responsibility for Planned Parenthood – around 4% of their services are abortion-related, according to their self-reporting – but its enough for hard-right, conservative Christians like Pence to want the whole organisation ground into dust.
Planned Parenthood has confirmed that 20,000 of the 160,000 donations they have received in the past week have been in Pence’s name. If they filled out the donation forms right, he or his office would cop a thank you card. So there is almost certainly a staffer sorting through mountains of thank you cards looking for the nuclear codes right now, which is nice.
On an unrelated note: Mike Pence is 57 years old. C’mon. The dude’s gotta be at least 65, surely.
Source: Huffington Post.
Photo: Getty Images.