Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed bill HEA 1337 into law, making it one of the most intrusive and extreme laws governing women’s health in the United States:
Under HB 1337, which both chambers of the legislature passed this week, women would be prohibited from seeking an abortion if they discover their fetus has genetic abnormalities. Abortion providers would be responsible for burying or cremating “fetal remains.” And donating fetal tissue — an area of scientific research that’s come under fire thanks to a smear campaign against Planned Parenthood — would be classified as a felony crime.
It’s so extreme that many so-called “pro-life” Republicans refused to support it:
“The bill does nothing to save innocent lives. There’s no education, there’s no funding. It’s just penalties,” Rep. Sharon Negele, a Republican who has sponsored anti-abortion legislation in the past, said this week at a hearing regarding HB 1337.
Another Republican lawmaker, Rep. Sean Eberhart, said he decided to vote against the bill after discussing it with his wife. He said she didn’t agree with the legislation even though she’s “as pro-life as they come.”
Indiana women aren’t taking this new attack on their healthcare lightly. A group called “Periods for Pence” recently sprang up. They decided that if the governor was so interested in what is happening with their bodies, he deserved more frequent updates. The ladies of Indiana have been busy calling the governor’s office with details. A sampling of their call reports:
Me: “Good morning. I just wanted to call and let the good Governor know that I am still not pregnant, since he seems to be so worried about women’s reproductive rights.”
Irritated lady on the other end of the phone: “And can I get your name, please?”
Me: “Sure, it’s Not Pregnant Laura.”
Just got through to Governor Pence’s office. (The operator must be on break.)
Me: Hi, is this the operator, or the Governor’s office?
Them: Um, this is the office, but I am covering for the operator right now.
Me: “Oh, good. I need to get a message to the Governor that I am on day three of my period. My flow seems abnormally heavy, but my cramps are much better to–”
Them: (Seriously pissed and trying to keep their voice down, but not quite succeeding) MA’AM, WHAT IS IT THAT I CAN HELP YOU WITH? Me: Oh, I don’t need your help, I just wanted to keep Governor Pence informed of my reproductive cycle, since he seems so concerned. Them: “Ugh.” *click*
I called to let him know that I am a lesbian so I won’t be needing an abortion (or legal protections, for that matter lol double whammy! Thanks, Pence!) also mentioned that I’m not currently menstruating but I might be ovulating.
Them: “Good Morning, Governor Pence’s office”
Me: “Good Morning. I just wanted to inform the Governor that things seem to be drying up today. No babies seem to be up in there. Okay?”
Them: (Sounding strangely horrified and chipper at the same time) “Ma’am, can we have your name?”
Me: “Sure. It’s Sue.”
Them: “And your last name?”
Me: “Magina. That’s M-A-G-I-N-A. It rhymes with–” Them: “I’ve got it.” *Click*
Someone from Pence’s campaign literally just rang my doorbell, wanting to know if I was likely to vote republican or democrat in the upcoming election. I let him know that I wasn’t sure, and that I’m going to be ovulating soon, and that I was unclear on whether or not I was legally required to fertilize the egg. He started cracking up.
Operator: Governor Mike Pence’s Office, please hold… >6 minutes later<
Operator: Governor Pence’s office, thank you for waiting… Me: Hi, I’m a native Hoosier who derives from the uterus of another native Hoosier… Operator: >clears throat< Me: I now live in California and I’m wondering if my uterus still falls under the juridiction of Governor Pence or– ? Operator: Please hold. >click<
Keep it up, ladies. Contact every lawmaker in Indiana who voted for this monstrous bill. Contact each and every month if you have to.