Donald Trump Wants To Punish Women For Having Abortions. Mike Pence Already Does.
After subjecting us to a year plus worth of disgusting displays of misogyny, be they mocking women for their appearance or their menstrual cycles, it’s only fitting that Presumptive Republican Nominee Donald Trump has chosen a four-star general in the ongoing GOP War On Women. Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the most deplorable anti-reproductive rights bill that the nation has ever seen into law this spring, and he’s now taking policies that include forcing women who get abortions to pay for the funerals of the fetus straight to the top of the 2016 Republican Presidential ticket.
As Reverb Press reported in March:
The bill, HB 1337, prohibits women from obtaining an abortion if their reason is due to fetal abnormality (including down syndrome), gender or race of the fetus. But the bill goes even further than that. Doctors at abortion clinics must have hospital admitting privileges, which would close clinics in the state and is an aspect of Texas’ law that’s being argued before the Supreme Court. The new law also prohibits fetal tissue donation to scientific research and carries a prison sentence if doctors are found donating tissue. The woman seeking the abortion must cover burial or cremation costs of the fetus. The law also requires women view their fetus via ultrasound and listen to the heart via sonogram at least 18-hours before having an abortion, and then must have an abortion at the same clinic where the ultrasound was performed.
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Since the bill was signed into law by now-Presumptive Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence, the Antonin-Scalia-less Supreme Court struck down the Texas abortion law requiring hospital admission privileges. Ruling that the privileges policy violates the “Undue Burden” standard, the court acknowledged that the Texas law was basically an end-around women’s constitutional rights. Yet the remainder of Pence’s Indiana law is still on the books.
Trump’s Message Is Loud And Clear
Nobody is arguing that Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie would have been stellar candidates that pass the Commander-In-Chief test, not by a mile. But selecting a troglodyte like Pence that wants to set women’s rights back a hundred years only amplifies that the nominee has little regard for women, their rights or their opinions. After all, this is a man who told Esquire that:
“You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
He’s also a man whothinks breastfeeding is disgusting.
But we can set aside the Trump/Pence ticket’s blatant disdain for women for a moment. This choice goes beyond that contempt and straight to the alleged billionaire’s competency and reason. For a man who seems to be so focussed on polls, surely he must be aware that his chances at winning the presidency lie solely with women. As the Center for American Progress noted following the 2012 election:
53 percent of the voters in the 2012 elections were women—more than one out of every two voters across the country was a woman. Moreover, 55 percent of those women cast votes for President Barack Obama. Women who voted for President Obama made up 29 percent—nearly one-third—of the electorate.
Does he think continually insulting women — from his words to his running mate selection — is the path to bridging that gender gap? Does he honestly think that he’ll earn more of the female vote than the antiquated yet affable and inoffensive Mitt Romney did? (“Binders Full of Women“ was bad, but it wasn’t Trump/Pence bad!) No. If we want to objectively analyze whether Donald Trump is fit to be President (Spoiler Alert: He’s Not), we can start by looking at how he runs his campaign. And if a campaign is designed to specifically and intentionally alienate 53% of the voting electorate, that shows an astounding lack of understanding about how Democracy works.
We’ve been waiting for the moment when the Trump campaign would finally die. Once women realize how hostile this ticket is to their existence, this might finally be that moment.
And Trump should make Mike Pence pay for its funeral.