What Media Should Know About Trump’s Reported VP Pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
Research ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
On July 14, media outlets reported that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will likely name Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Here’s what media need to know about Pence’s right-wing record.
- Criminal Justice
- Gun Violence Prevention
- Health Care
- LGBT Equality
- Press Freedoms
- Reproductive Rights
Donald Trump Reportedly Poised To Announce Gov. Mike Pence As His Vice Presidential Running Mate
Multiple Media Outlets Are Reporting That Trump Is Likely To Name Pence As His Running Mate. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is likely to name Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate, according to reports from multiple media outlets. Trump will reportedly publicly announce the pick on Friday morning in New York City. [Roll Call, 7/14/16; The New York Times, 7/14/16; CBS News, 7/14/16, The Indianapolis Star, 7/14/16]
Pence Was Formerly An Indiana Congressman And Self-Described “Rush Limbaugh On Decaf” Conservative Radio Host. Before his election as governor of Indiana, Pence served in the House of Representatives and worked as a conservative radio host. The Legislative Effectiveness Project, an academic research project, examined the legislative record of the six-term congressman and found that in all but one of those terms Pence performed “below expectations” in terms of “bills the lawmaker introduced, how substantive they were and how far they made it through the legislative process.” In a 2014 speech to “a gathering of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters,” Pence reportedly described his record:
You see, I’ve served in public office for 14 years: A year and a half as Governor and 12 years in Congress . . . I hosted a talk radio show in the early days of that format. I liked to say, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not [in] a bad mood about it.” I was kind of like Rush Limbaugh on decaf. [The Washington Post, 9/11/14; The Indianapolis Star, 7/7/16, 10/16/14]
Pence Signed Legislation Enacting Harsh Sentencing For Drug Offenses Opposed By Indiana Legal Groups. In the spring, Pence signed into law an Indiana House bill imposing 10-year mandatory minimum prison terms for people convicted of second offenses for crimes involving methamphetamine or heroin. The legislation was opposed by the Indiana State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, the Indiana Judicial Conference, and the Indiana Public Defender Council, which all argued that legislation to combat drug use should focus on treatment rather than harsher punishment. [The Times of Northwest Indiana, 3/21/16; TheIndianaLawyer.com, 3/21/16]
Pence, A Supposed Criminal Justice Reform Candidate, Has Actually Passed Numerous Measures That Support Mass Incarceration. In a review of the legislative moves of several lawmakers backed by the nominally pro-criminal-justice-reform Koch brothers, ThinkProgress pointed out that the oil billionaires have “thrown their financial weight behind candidates who have a record of putting more people in prison, keeping them there for longer and spending more money on mass incarceration,” including Pence. The article explained that, while Pence signed a broad criminal justice reform bill after he took office, his budgets have reflected a commitment to expanding and protecting the prison-industrial complex. From the April 2015 article:
As embattled Indiana Governor Mike Pence struggles to defend his newly signed “religious freedom” law, less attention is going to his recently unveiled budget for the next two years. Among other provisions, the plan would spend $43 million more on operations and staffing at the state’s existing prisons, and allocate an additional $51 million to build new cells “in order to meet projected increases in the corrections population.” The budget cuts tens of thousands of dollars, however, from juvenile transition programs, the parole board and staff training — and includes no additional funding for drug treatment, mentoring, and other services “to promote the successful integration of the offender into the community.”
Pence did sign a criminal justice reform bill two years ago that aimed to reduce incarceration of low-level offenders and allow some ex-offenders to scrub their criminal records. But the Governor’s new budget doesn’t adequately fund these changes, which lawmakers warn will cause the reforms to fail.
The governor also signed bills mandating harsher sentences for computer-based crimes and hazing. An earlier version of the bill would have relaxed sentences for non-violent drug crimes, but those provisions were amended due to pressure from Pence, who wanted to “send a message that the state is tough on drug dealers.” [ThinkProgress, 4/1/15; Politico, 8/29/14; The Charles Koch Institute, 9/3/15]
Pence Signed Tax Cuts For Corporations, High-Income Individuals That Already Failed In Other Red States. In March 2014, Pence followed the lead of other Republican governors around the country by passing a package of supply-side corporate and income tax cuts that he claimed would increase business activity and economic growth in the state. Similar trickle-down economic models “collapsed” after being implemented by Govs. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and failed to produce discernible results for Gov. John Kasich in neighboring Ohio. As was the case in Ohio and elsewhere, Pence’s tax cuts effectively redistributed the state’s tax burden onto local governments that were stripped of nearly $1 billion in annual revenue. An additional manufacturing tax cut pushed by the governor in 2015 was projected to cost the state between $35 million and $240 million annually. [The Associated Press, 3/25/14; The Indianapolis Star, 3/25/14, 2/3/15; New York, 3/18/16; Media Matters, 3/15/16, 7/1/16]
Pence Signed Law Capping Indiana Minimum Wage, Employee Benefits. In 2013, Pence mustered Republican State House opposition to a proposal that would have increased Indiana’s minimum wage to $8.25 per hour despite national support for raising the wage to $9. According to The Times of Northwest Indiana, Pence had previously signed legislation “prohibit[ing] local governments from requiring businesses [to] pay a higher minimum wage, or offer any working condition or benefit, such as paid sick leave, if it's not mandated by state or federal law.” On May 6, 2015, Pence continued his campaign against living wages by repealing a law guaranteeing that “prevailing wages” be paid to workers on publicly funded construction projects. [The Times of Northwest Indiana, 11/12/13, 5/6/15]
Pence Defended State's Union-Busting "Right-To-Work" Laws. On February 1, 2012, Indiana set off a cascade of union-busting legislation from Republican statehouses in the Midwest when it became the first state in more than a decade, and 23rd state overall, to enact a so-called “right-to-work” law. The law, barring union contracts from requiring that non-union members pay representation fees, was signed by outgoing Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who had once been opposed to the provision, and created a template for future GOP-led attacks on unions in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In separate rulings delivered in September 2013 and July 2014, two judges in Lake County, IN, concluded that the legislation violated “the state constitution’s guarantee of compensation for services,” according to The Times of Northwest Indiana. Stating unequivocally that “Indiana is a right-to-work state,” Gov. Mike Pence appealed the ruling to the state’s Supreme Court and won a unanimous decision upholding the law in November 2014. The only Democratic-appointed on the court, Justice Robert Rucker, authored a concurring opinion leaving the door open to further constitutional challenges of the law.
Since being revived in Indiana, anti-union “right-to-work” laws have spread throughout Republican-controlled statehouses around the country. Pence’s support for legislative crackdowns on worker rights and collective bargaining date back to at least 2003, when he was an initial co-sponsor of the National Right-to-Work Act. In June 2016, Pence promoted his state’s experience with the law while praising Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole in union-heavy West Virginia. Conservative media outlets have intensely promoted “right-to-work” since it re-emerged on the national stage in 2012 as a means of boosting wages and economic activity, but research by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) has consistently shown that the supposed gains never actually materialize. [AFL-CIO, 1/19/12; The New York Times, 2/1/12; Media Matters, 12/12/12; The Times of Northwest Indiana, 7/25/14, 8/22/14; The Indianapolis Star, 11/6/14; Courthouse News Service, 11/10/14; Economic Policy Institute, 4/22/15; The Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/12/16; Chicago Tribune, 5/24/16; Charleston Gazette-Mail, 7/6/16; Congress.gov, accessed 7/14/16]
Pence’s Indiana Education Record Has Focused On Boosting Privatization, “Battle For Control.” In an overview of Pence’s education record since his election as governor in 2013, education outlet Chalkbeat pointed out that Pence has been a consistent proponent of education privatization policies, often in a “battle for control” with the state superintendent, a Democrat and educator, and with perceived federal overreach. Pence supports expansion and funding increases for public charter schools -- which are independently operated, often by private management companies -- and voucher programs that push public money into private schools. A recent Brookings Institution report highlighted Indiana as one of two states where “negative effects of vouchers” were apparent in student performance. As Chalkbeat described:
Each year since his election, Pence has spoken at an annual school choice rally at the statehouse, affirming his strong support for publicly funded vouchers to pay private school tuition for low- and middle-income families and for charter schools, which are publicly funded but managed independently from school districts.
Pence has pushed to expand both charter schools and vouchers, with some big legislative wins in 2015.
But Pence didn’t get everything he wanted. He proposed a $1,500 per-student grant to provide extra aid for charter schools for expenses beyond the classroom. Instead, lawmakers approved a $10 million grant fund for up to $500 per student for schools with good test scores or ones that can show they out-perform nearby traditional public schools. But that still constituted the first significant extra bump in aid for charter schools after years of lobbying by advocates.
But in perhaps an even bigger boost, charter schools also were given access to a $50 million state fund from which they can seek loans for school construction or to buy computers and technology.
For vouchers, Pence persuaded lawmakers to lift a $4,800 cap on the amount of tuition aid families can receive. Previously, elementary schools were limited at that figure, but high schools were limited only by the amount of per-student state aid paid to the school districts where they live to cover the cost of their educations.[Chalkbeat, 7/13/15; Brookings Institution, 5/26/16]
Pence Has Numerous Connections To A Right-Wing-Funded Indiana School Choice PAC And National Education Privatization Groups.The political action committee Hoosiers for Quality Education’s board members, according to its 2014 IRS filings, include founder and chairman Fred Klipsch, who is Pence’s campaign treasurer for his gubernatorial re-election, and Stuart Jolly, the former national field director for the Trump presidential campaign and current political director for the pro-Trump Great America PAC. Hoosiers for Quality Education listed among the sponsors for its 2015 rally, at which Pence spoke, the Indiana chapter of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing think tank Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the controversial online charter company K12 Inc., and dark-money-fueled advocacy groups American Federation for Children and Stand For Children. Pence is also affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which connects lawmakers with corporations to help push corporate-driven model legislation. ALEC education legislation includes bills to boost charter funding, expand vouchers, and severely limit job protections for public school teachers. Pence is set to speak at a special presentation at the ALEC annual meeting in Indianapolis in July, co-sponsored by the conservative Center for Education Reform. [Indiana Election Division, accessed 7/11/16; Politico, 5/27/16, 8/28/14; Twitter, 2/18/15; Media Matters, 4/27/16; ALEC.org, accessed 7/11/16]
Indiana Was Quick To Adopt, And Quickest To Drop, Common Core State Standards, Pleasing No One With Final Results. Indiana was one of the first of 44 states and the District of Columbia to adopt the Common Core state standards in 2010, and it was the first state to “turn its back” on the standards in 2014. As Chalkbeat described, the standards were dropped due to conservative “political backlash.” Pence pushed for the adoption of new standards that were “identical or nearly the same” as Common Core, leading to rapid standards and testing changes that left educators and students in a state of confusion. From a September 2014 article:
The bill [to replace the Common Core state standards in Indiana] passed and was signed by Pence, earning praise for the governor for getting rid of Common Core.
But the cheers subsided when drafts of the new standards were released. Critics complained that many of the standards were identical or nearly the same as Common Core standards — more than 70 percent by one accounting.
But those backing Common Core weren’t celebrating either. Just enough Common Core principles had been removed that supporters of the standards consider Indiana’s proposal little more than a watered down version.
The 2014-15 school year was unlike any other, as teachers and students tried to prepare for a test they’ve never seen based on new state standards they’d only begun to learn. [Chalkbeat, 9/8/14]
Pence Is A Climate Science Denier. On the February 21, 2014, edition of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd asked Pence if he is “convinced that climate change is man-made.” Pence responded: “I don't know that that is a resolved issue in science today.” Moments later, Pence added: “Just a few years ago, we were talking about global warming. We haven't seen a lot of warming lately. I remember back in the ‘70s we were talking about the coming ice age." Pence similarly stated on the May 5, 2009, edition of MSNBC’s Hardball that “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming,” as ThinkProgress noted. However, according to NASA: “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” Or, as a group of Indiana climate scientists put it in an October 2015 letter to Pence, “The basic science of climate change is settled.” [MSNBC.com, 2/21/14; barackobama.com, accessed 7/11/16; ThinkProgress, 5/5/09; NASA.gov, accessed 7/11/16; WFYI.org, accessed 7/11/16]
Pence Has Repeatedly Tried To Block The EPA’s Landmark Climate Change Plan. In July 2014, The Hill reported that Pence sent a letter to Indiana’s congressional delegation encouraging them to defund the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which fights climate change by placing the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants. On June 24, 2015, The Associated Press reported that Pence said that “Indiana won't comply with President Barack Obama's plan to address climate change unless there are significant changes,” and that Pence “threatened to use any legal means available to block the plan.” Pence’s refusal to comply with the Clean Power Plan drew strong criticism and rebuttals from local and environmental officials, as the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana reported. He has since indicated that he will comply with the Clean Power Plan if it is upheld by the Supreme Court, but Indiana remains one of the states challenging the plan's legality and has halted its work to prepare for the plan until a final verdict is reached. [The Hill, 7/10/14; The Associated Press, 6/24/15; Post-Tribune, 6/25/16; ClimateWire, 2/26/16]
The Journal Gazette: “Pence Defies EPA, Pleasing Donors.” The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, IN, reported that in opposing the EPA Clean Power Plan, Pence was “standing with big political donors,” including utilities and coal companies that have contributed almost $2 million to his campaign and the foundation that “funds economic development travel for Pence”:
When Gov. Mike Pence threw down the gauntlet and said Indiana would not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, he says he was standing up for Indiana’s economy.
But he was also standing with big political donors – utilities and coal companies.
Indiana utility companies and related political action committees have given more than $160,000 to Pence’s gubernatorial campaign committee and a huge $1.7 million to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Foundation. Coal companies kicked in an additional $91,000 to the campaign war chest.
Those numbers don’t include donations from individuals in the mining and energy field, including a $25,000 contribution from a Texas man in August. [The Journal Gazette, 9/13/15]
Pence Helped Kill Indiana’s Successful Energy Efficiency Program. In an article titled “Before being dismantled, Indiana’s efficiency program was effective,” Midwest Energy News reported that an independent study showed the energy efficiency program Energizing Indiana had “resulted in energy savings of about 11 million megawatt hours, significant cost savings and created almost 19,000 jobs.” The article noted that when presented with a bill by Republican state legislators to end the program, Pence “declined to veto it, allowing it to become law.” [Midwest Energy News, 6/26/15]
Pence Received A Low 4 Percent Lifetime Score On LCV’s Environmental Scorecard. During his 12 years in Congress, Pence received a 4 percent lifetime score on the League of Conservation Voters’ (LCV) National Environmental Scorecard. According to LCV, Pence did not cast a single “pro-environment vote” out of the 20 key votes he took related to air pollution, the 25 key votes he took related to clean energy, the 20 key votes he took related to climate change, or the 40 key votes he took related to drilling. [LCV.org, accessed 7/11/16]
The NRA Praised Pence For Adopting Its Radical Agenda. The NRA endorsed Pence’s run for governor in 2012, awarding him an “A” rating while noting in a statement, “Mike Pence has a proven record of defending the Second Amendment.” The statement praised Pence for several votes he took while serving in the U.S. House, including supporting a controversial immunity law that makes it difficult for victims of gun violence to sue gun dealers and manufacturers that arm dangerous people through negligent or otherwise wrongful conduct:
“Mike Pence has a proven record of defending the Second Amendment,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of NRA-PVF. “His strong dedication and voting record have earned him an “A” rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF.”
While serving in Congress, Mike Pence signed the historic brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald v. City of Chicago, which argued that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms for all law-abiding Americans. Pence cosponsored and voted for H.R. 822, “The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act,” which would ensure that law-abiding Americans with valid concealed handgun permits would be able to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. He also cosponsored H.R. 645, “The Second Amendment Enforcement Act,” to repeal the D.C. gun ban/registration statute and restore the right of self-defense to law-abiding residents of our nation’s capital. In addition, Pence cosponsored and voted for the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which protected American gun makers from being sued into bankruptcy, and cosponsored and voted for the “Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act,” which prohibits gun confiscation during states of emergency. [National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, 10/5/12, via Internet Archive’s WayBack Machine]
Pence Is A Long-Time Obamacare Opponent, But He Took Medicaid Expansion Money To Shore Up His State’s Budget. During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, Pence voted multiple times to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” telling The Hill after Republicans took control of the House in 2011 that he intended to repeal the law that expanded health insurance coverage to millions of Americans “lock, stock and barrel.” According to Politico, during a June 28, 2012, meeting Pence compared the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold key provisions of the law to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. According to research compiled by The Washington Post, Pence voted for at least 25 pieces of legislation and up to 10 additional amendments aimed at repealing all or part of the health care reform law, including provisions like “death panels” that never actually existed. Like Ohio Gov.John Kasich, Mike Pence is both an outspoken critic of and a recipient of federal funding through the law’s expansion of Medicaid, which he formally accepted on behalf of the state of Indiana on January 27, 2015. [The Hill, 1/19/11; Politico, 6/28/12, 1/27/15; The Washington Post, 3/21/14; MSNBC, 1/27/15]
Pence Issued “Clearly” Discriminatory Order Barring Syrian Refugee Settlement In Indiana. In March, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Pence’s order barring Indiana state agencies from aiding with Syrian refugee resettlement. The judge ruled that the order “clearly discriminates against Syrian refugees based on their national origin,” and asserted that Pence’s claims that the order was meant to protect the safety of Indiana residents were not accurate. From The Associated Press:
A federal judge in Indianapolis on Monday blocked Republican Gov. Mike Pence's order that barred state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana, saying the governor's directive "clearly discriminates" against refugees from the war-torn country.
The ruling grants a request for a preliminary injunction from Exodus Refugee Immigration, which helps resettle refugees in Indiana. The group sued shortly after Pence issued his order in November, saying the change would hurt aid groups by withholding reimbursements for housing and medical care to assist Syrian refugees.
In her 36-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt said the state had a compelling concern to protect its residents, but that withholding federal grant money from the aid group "in no way furthers the state's asserted interest in the safety of Indiana residents."
Pratt also wrote that the governor's directive "clearly discriminates against Syrian refugees based on their national origin. [The Associated Press, 3/1/16]
Pence Joined Fox & Friends To Read Aloud From A Protest Letter He Sent To The President About A “Crisis” Of Undocumented Immigrants. In 2014, Pence appeared on Fox News’ Fox & Friends to discuss the placement of “undocumented, vulnerable children and families” in Indiana. Pence read aloud from a letter of protest he sent to President Obama after reportedly learning about these placements through media reports. From Politico’s reporting on the appearance:
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said Thursday that he learned undocumented immigrants were being placed by the feds in his state only after seeing media reports, and he called the practice “completely unacceptable.”
“We found out from press accounts that more than 200 undocumented children had been placed in private placements across the state of Indiana, and we were only notified by the Department of Health and Human Services after that was being publicly reported,” the Republican said on “Fox & Friends.”
Pence sent a letter of protest to President Barack Obama on Wednesday and read part of it aloud on the show. “What we are currently experiencing in Indiana and states across the nation as this crisis deepens, however, is neither sensible nor humane,” he read. “States should not be asked by the federal government to deal with the consequences of a failed national immigration policy.” [Politico, 7/31/14]
In 2007, Pence Co-Sponsored A Bill That Would Declare English “The Official Language Of The United States” And Would Require English Proficiency For Naturalization. In 2007, Pence co-sponsored the English Language Unity Act of 2007 with Iowa Rep. Steve King, which aimed to declare English “the official language of the United States,” and which would have imposed a “uniform English language rule for U.S. naturalization.” The bill did not make it out of committee. [Congress.gov, accessed 7/11/16]
Pence Signed Indiana’s Notorious Anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom” Bill Into Law. In March 2015, Pence signed into law his state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which provided a legal defense for individuals and businesses who cite their religious beliefs while discriminating against LGBT people. The law triggered a furious national backlash, with major companies, celebrities, and government leaders condemning the measure for potentially encouraging discrimination against LGBT Hoosiers. Pence and top Indiana Republicans eventually pledged to "clarify" the law by adding language that prevents RFRA from being used as a defense for anti-LGBT discrimination in court. [Media Matters, 4/2/15]
Pence Was Surrounded By Anti-LGBT Extremists When He Signed The Bill Into Law. At least four leading anti-LGBT activists surrounded Pence when he signed the “religious freedom” bill into law. The activists included Micah Clark, head of the American Family Association of Indiana, who once compared a license plate benefiting an LGBT youth center to one that promotes smoking; Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute, who refers to the facts about the hate-crime murder of gay teen Matthew Shepard as gay “propaganda”; Eric Miller, executive director of Advance America, who once distributed a flier falsely claiming that legalizing same-sex marriage would cause pastors to be arrested for preaching against “homosexuality”; and Kellie Fiedorek, litigation counsel to Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that has worked internationally to criminalize gay sex. [GLAAD, 3/30/15; Media Matters, 4/16/15]
Pence Has A Long History Of Anti-LGBT Activism. Pence has staunchly opposed LGBT rights since the 1990s, when he was a board member for the Indiana Family Institute (IFI), which advocates for “religious liberty” and opposes what it calls “so-called same-sex ‘marriage.’” Pence is still closely connected to IFI and regularly speaks at the group’s events. During his 12-year tenure in Congress, Pence opposed workplace nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation, opposed efforts to expand the definition of a hate crime to include crimes based on sexual orientation, outspokenly championed a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and opposed the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” [IndyStar, 1/13/16; Indiana Family Institute, accessed 7/11/16]
In 2015, Pence Proposed A State-Funded News Service And Was Widely Criticized By Indiana Journalists. In early 2015, Pence proposed the launch of “Just IN,” a “state-run taxpayer-funded news outlet that will make pre-written news stories available to Indiana media, as well as sometimes break news about his administration.” The plan was critiqued by top Indiana editors and reporters, as well as several national media outlets. Days later, Pence scrapped the plan. [Indianapolis Star, 1/26/15; Media Matters, 1/27/15; The Atlantic, 1/27/15; The Washington Post, 1/29/15]
Pence Signed “Kitchen Sink” Anti-Choice Bill That Would Place Multiple New Restrictions On Abortion. In March, Pence signed Indiana’s House Enrolled Act 1337, a controversial bill that both banned certain abortion procedures and placed new restrictions on abortion providers. The bill banned abortion if the reason for the procedure given by the pregnant person was the fetus’ race or gender or a fetal abnormality. In addition, the bill required that all fetal remains from abortions or miscarriages at any stage of pregnancy be buried or cremated. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the bill, which The New York Times called “exceptional for its breadth,” days after the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt. [Vox, 3/26/16; The New York Times, 7/1/16]
Politico: “Nobody Hates Planned Parenthood Quite As Much As Mike Pence.” In 2011, when Pence was serving in Congress, Politico described him as going “on a one-man crusade to deny all federal funding” to Planned Parenthood for any health care service. Pence repeatedly introduced legislation that would have prevented Planned Parenthood or any abortion provider from receiving Title X funding, which covers services for family planning and other reproductive health care. He also introduced legislation that would have specifically prevented Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding. While introducing legislation to remove Planned Parenthood from Title X funding, Pence cited a discredited video campaign from anti-choice activist group Live Action that he claimed showed Planned Parenthood advising “undercover sex traffickers on how to secure secret abortions.” But Live Action’s video release was doctored to make misleading claims about the organization. [Politico, 2/16/11; PoliticalCorrection.org, 2/8/11, Media Matters, 2/4/11, 2/1/11]
Pence Asserted That If Planned Parenthood Was Removed From Title X Funding, “Thousands Of Clinics Across The Country” Could Service Low-Income Patients. In a 2011 op-ed, Pence wrote that he “applaud[s] the work done at Title X clinics” and that his legislation that would remove Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funding would not reduce access to the services the funding provides because “there are literally thousands of clinics across the country — other than Planned Parenthood — that receive federal funding and offer access to health care for low-income women and families.” But data from 2010 showed that in 103 U.S. counties, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of publicly subsidized contraceptive services and that it can see patients three to five days sooner than "other types of safety-net providers" can. [LifeNews, 2/24/11, Media Matters, 9/10/15]