Sunday, October 9, 2016

Liar Liar Your Pants are on Firer:Mike Pence lied: He and Donald Trump would absolutely punish women for abortion

Mike Pence lied: He and Donald Trump would absolutely punish women for abortion

A lot of questions went unasked and unanswered as Mike Pence deflected and lied his way through Tuesday night’s debate. We didn’t hear anything about his anti-LGBT record, for instance. And while reproductive choice was one of Tim Kaine’s strongest moments, Pence’s lies and omissions were too many to shoot down right then and there. As he had so many times in the debate, Pence flatly denied that Donald Trump said something he definitely said—and for bonus points, he simultaneously lied about something in his own record:

If funerals for fetuses isn’t punishing women … But wait, it gets better. Or worse, if you’re talking about real-life consequences rather than debate gotchas. Pence is governor of Indiana, where, in 2015:

Purvi Patel, a 33 year old woman who says that she had a miscarriage, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for neglect of a dependent and feticide. She is the first woman in the United States to ever be sentenced for such a crime.

The conviction was overturned by a state appeals court, but that conviction and sentence are Mike Pence’s Indiana. It’s “Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punished women who made the heart-breaking choice to end a pregnancy” vs. a 20-year prison sentence. A claim vs. a reality.

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Pence’s signature policy—defunding Planned Parenthood—is also all about making it more difficult for women to obtain abortions. That in itself punishes women, who may have to travel farther, pay more, wait longer and therefore need more complicated procedures later. Beyond that, making abortion illegal—consigning Roe v. Wade to “the ash heap of history,” as Pence has said he would do—will punish women in myriad ways. Women face all manner of creative charges like the ones Purvi Patel faced, in which she was simultaneously prosecuted for killing a fetus and neglecting a live child. It may be convenient to forget now, but before Roe, women died seeking illegal abortions. Women still die seeking abortions in states that do what Pence wants to do and throw up barrier after barrier. And women will die in greater numbers if Pence gets his way.

On abortion, as on so many other things, Pence just lied. And Tim Kaine’s question—“Why don’t you trust women to make this choice for themselves?”—was right on target.

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