A controversial abortion ban bill signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last month has many women seeing red – are they’re not afraid to tell him about it.
A group called Periods for Pence has sprouted on social media, with women sending the governor updates on their menstrual cycles to protest the ban.
The law makes Indiana the second state to ban abortion because of fetal genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome and prohibits abortions done because of a fetus’ race, sex or ancestry. Under the measure, doctors who perform forbidden abortions could be sued for wrongful death or face discipline from the state medical licensing board. Women receiving such abortions wouldn't face punishment.
The bill has been criticized by a national group of gynecologists and several female Republican members of the GOP-dominated Indiana Legislature, who say it goes too far in telling women what they can and can't do. Critics also say the measure would require pregnant women to endure complicated pregnancies that pose a danger to their health and would lead women to not speak candidly with their doctors.
Shortly after the bill was signed into law, a Facebook page and Twitter account titled “Periods for Pence” was launched on social media. The group calls for supporters 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.”
Some have said they also called his office to make similar remarks.
“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,” one user wrote. “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.”
Pence's office said in a statement in response to the campaign, “We are always willing to take calls from constituents who have questions, concerns or are looking for assistance.”
Pence was a prominent abortion rights opponent while serving in Congress before being elected governor in 2012. He is facing a tough re-election campaign and will be counting on a strong turnout from his evangelical base in November.
It’s not the first time such a campaign has been launched in response to an abortion law. When Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill in February that required women to consult with a doctor at least 24 hours before an abortion, the hashtag #AskBevinAboutMyVag was spawned.