INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A social media campaign is gaining traction for their response to a controversial abortion bill signed into law by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
The group, called “Periods for Pence,” gains thousands of likes daily and was created just a week ago. The group’s creator, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was inspired to create the page after reading HEA 1337, which prevents women from aborting a fetus due to Down syndrome or other genetic abnormalities. The measure also prohibits abortions sought on the basis of gender or race. Indiana is the second state in the nation to enact such a law.
The group asks women to call Gov. Pence’s office and discuss their menstrual cycles.
“I went out and looked at the bill, and the more I read it I thought, ‘this doesn’t make any sense.’ I can’t understand it, the average Hoosier woman isn’t going to be able to understand it. The parts I did understand were a little bit scary frankly,” she said.
She told her husband that if Gov. Pence was so worried about what women are doing with their bodies, maybe they should call and tell him everything.
The group’s description says, “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!”
“I put it up on Facebook and the response was completely overwhelming,” she said.
Members of the group call the governor’s office and describe their periods in detail. Some men on the page even claimed to have done this on behalf of their girlfriends.
The page and its users have been posting transcripts of conversations with the governor’s office.
The group’s creator said most of the feedback she has received has been positive, although some question the tactics. The governor’s office has not contacted her directly.
Gov Pence’s office confirmed they are receiving these calls, but could not say how many they have gotten.
“They seem to be getting more exasperated,” the group’s creator said.
We received this statement from the governor’s office:
“We are always willing to take calls from constituents who have questions, concerns or are looking for assistance.”
The group’s creator said she is hoping the page gives Hoosier women a voice. She’s also looking at various ways of expanding the reach of her message.
If given the opportunity to speak to Gov. Pence directly, she said she would explain that women who must make this decision are already going through a lot and it “doesn’t seem like a very fair thing to put them through.”
“It’s a ridiculous idea to tell him about our periods and our uterus and vaginas and what’s going on but I think it illustrates the gravity of this,” said Stephanie Dayton, a fan of the Periods for Pence page.
Dayton said she liked the page after she saw it shared by a friend, “There are so many more important things we need to worry about in this country and in this state,” she said.
— James Gherardi (@JamesGherardi) April 1, 2016
“The people who are joining this website or this Facebook page weren’t going to vote for him anyhow,” said Republican Strategist, Mike Murphy.
Murphy does not think a grassroots swell of opposition like Periods for Pence will be enough to hurt the Governor in his November re-election.
“Right to life in this state is a winning issue, hands down,” he said.
Murphy says a law like HEA1337 may actually boost the Governor’s popularity in a state known for electing pro-life candidates.
“Everybody believes in women’s rights surely, but what they forget is there’s a life there who’s not being spoken for,” said Murphy.