The election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence as the next president and vice president, respectively, has some women concerned about their access to birth control, abortion and other health services. But the vice president-elect’s ascent has inadvertently helped an organization he’s been trying to de-fund for years. Planned Parenthood has received 20,000 donations nationally in the former Indiana governor’s name since Election Day.
The organization that serves his home state of Indiana has benefited greatly, as well. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky received around 1,400 donations since Election Day, totaling more than $25,000. Online donations to the Indiana and Kentucky branch have increased by 1,700 percent since Election Day, according to the organization’s website. Pence is sent a notice to his office at the Indiana Statehouse each time they receive a donation.
“We are pleased that this outpouring of support recognizes the good work Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky does and we welcome the financial support to continue to service our patients who need it most,” Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPINK said in a statement released Wednesday. “Hoosiers have recognized how bad Pence is for women for a really long time and now the nation is joining us in the fight against him.”
Pence, a self-described “Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood for years. Pence is vigorously opposed to abortion and set about limiting funding for the group during his time as a congressman before he became Indiana’s governor. Three percent of the overall services that Planned Parenthood provides are abortion services, according to its website.
In 2011, Pence attempted to pass a bill in the House of Representatives to significantly cut funding to the group, though the bill ultimately failed. Only a year after Pence became governor of Indiana, in 2014, the state had already slashed funding for Planned Parenthood to half of its 2005 levels.
“If Planned Parenthood wants to be involved in providing counseling services and HIV testing, they ought not to be involved in the business of providing abortions,” Pence told Politico in 2011. “As long as they aspire to do that, I’ll be after them.”