Last month, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a controversial abortion bill into law. The new law prevents women from seeking abortions due to fetal genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome, as well as preventing abortions due to a fetus’ gender, race, or ancestry. Pro-choice activists, including many women, are disgusted by the legislation, which many say goes too far, and they are letting Governor Mike Pence know how they really feel.
Following the implementation of the new abortion law, a law which makes Indiana only the second state in the United States to ban abortion in cases of fetal genetic abnormalities, a group called “Periods for Pence” popped up on social media. The group encourages women to contact Governor Pence with updates on their menstrual cycles in protest of the abortion law, reports NBC Chicago.
The Periods for Pence protest has gone viral, and women have been flooding social media and the phone line of Indiana Governor Mike Pence with period updates and questions.
The new Indiana law, which has been publicly called into question by several female Republican members of the Indiana legislature and a national gynecological group, would punish doctors who perform “forbidden abortions” with wrongful death lawsuits and/or state licensing board disciplinary action. Women who undergo the forbidden procedures wouldn’t face any legal punishment.
Critics of the controversial new Indiana anti-abortion legislation say that the measure goes too far in telling women what they can do with their own bodies and the contents of their bodies. Critics of the Indiana bill also say that the law could force women to endure pregnancies that could pose a danger to their health or lives and could potentially cause women to be afraid to speak candidly with their physicians.
After the signing of the controversial anti-abortion legislation, Periods for Pence was born on Facebook and Twitter. The group called on opponents of the new Indiana law to “let Governor Mike Pence know what you think about his intrusive HEA 1337 bill. Women should have the right to make their own medical decisions.”
Since the Periods for Pence movement went viral, the protest has reportedly gotten so big that Indiana Governor Mike Pence has had to disconnect his phone lines.
Women have taken to social media to bombard Mike Pence’s pages there, as well, and are (as mentioned above) also contacting the Indiana governor via email.
Some Periods for Pence protesters have reportedly spoken to employees at Governor Pence’s office about their menstrual cycles and the assorted symptoms. According to protesters, Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s employees don’t seem to have the medical know-how to handle questions related to the uterus, whether it’s menstruating, pregnancy, or something else entirely.
“I just called Governor Pence’s office & got what sounded like a nice young gentleman. I told him that my breasts were extremely sore and I haven’t had my period yet. I asked him in the case of possibly being pregnant and having a miscarriage at home, would I need to bring the fetus into the office. He said something about me misunderstanding the bill and said something about a clinic. He sounded flustered and immediately hung up.”
Governor Pence’s office has not responded to requests for comment regarding the menstruation protest, but if Twitter reports are to be believed, his phone lines were overwhelmed and disconnected.
This isn’t the first time Indiana Governor Mike Pence has been involved in limiting the abortion rights of American women. During his time in Congress, Pence fought diligently and tirelessly against a woman’s right to choose. He is currently facing a very tight re-election bid, and if the Indiana governor can’t get his evangelical voter base to the polls (i.e., by passing tough anti-abortion laws), Mike Pence might not be governor much longer.
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