After Governor Mike Pence signed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country, an anonymous feminist activist began the movement, #periodsforpence. Now that Donald Trump has chosen the Hoosier governor to be his running mate, #tamponsfortrump has flooded Trump’s HQ phone line with updates.
According to the Periods4Pence Facebook page:
“Happy Monday, America! The voice of your vag, here, reminding you to let those fingers do the walking! Today we are encouraging women (all women, no matter your current uterine condition) to call both Trump HQ at 646-736-1779 AND the Republican National Convention at 216-263-2016. Do your civic duty! Does your vagina feel anxious? Depressed? Did it have a good weekend? Or maybe you are crampy, bloated, or just craving the hell out of a Kit kat. THEY NEED TO KNOW IT ALL! Report back and let us know how it goes. Happy calling!”
The original protest began in response to Pence’s signing of Indiana House Enrolled Act 1337, a piece of omnibus antiabortion legislation that is vague enough that women could be jailed for having difficulties with their pregnancies. The law also forbids parents from choosing abortion if a fetus is revealed to have Down’s Syndrome.
The woman who began #periods4pence felt that women had no input into the law, and that Governor Pence had set the government of Indiana up as the medical authority on women’s bodies. The governor’s signing of the law evinced his interest in the working of women’s reproductive cycles, and thus the idea was born that women should “check in” with Governor Pence with their medical questions about reproductive health and also to let him know the general state of a woman’s vagina or uterus on a daily basis.
Since Trump’s naming of Pence to the ticket, organizers feel that it’s important that Trump know what’s up with women’s bodies as well. On the Periods4Pence Facebook page, several women expressed concern that the Trump campaign staff was illegally dispensing medical advice after one woman called to ask what her obligation to her unused eggs was now that she no longer had a uterus:
Stacey Robertson Ray wrote: “I called Trump’s office Friday and said ‘I had a hysterectomy 5 years ago – should I get a pap smear?’ The woman on the phone actually said ‘Yes! You never know what will hit you next’ and then hung up on me – sounds like illegally dispensed medical advice to me!”
Jill Lewis replied: “Maybe you should ask them if it’s necessary to turn yourself in to the police because you’re no longer producing eggs which could’ve turned into humans. It’s passive murder! At least that’s probably how some of them look at it.”
Holly Robinson wrote: “I’m through menopause but actual, real doctor seems to think I should still be getting exams. Maybe I should double check with the RNC. ;)”
Char Sheets added: “I am right there with you! I just came into full menopause in May. Am I even allowed to do the deed anymore, I mean my husband is wasting that precious sperm!”
Other posters had contacted the Trump campaign to ask whether they were guilty of “imprisoning” their eggs by using a silicon menstrual cup, whether it was more environmentally friendly to use pads or tampons, how best to deal with cramps, and those with gynecological exams scheduled for the coming week promised that they would phone the campaign’s general number with the results of their Pap smears and mammograms.
— femalepersuasion.net (@femalep) July 15, 2016ADVERTISEMENT
Although at the Twitter page, Periods for Pence requested that women NOT send the Trump campaign physical evidence of menstruation:
Good idea in theory, but please do not. A phone call, tweet, or email will be sufficient and appreciated, I'm sure. https://t.co/SsmeMpCX2H
— PeriodsforPence (@Periods4Pence) July 18, 2016
There is no word yet from the Trump-Pence campaign about whether they will hire medical staff to answer women’s questions at the 646-736-1779 HQ number.