More than 50,000 donations have been made to Planned Parenthood in anti-choice Vice President-elect Mike Pence's name, in another show of creative resistance and organizing against the incoming Republican administration.
"We've seen an unprecedented outpouring of support, with more than 200,000 people donating in the week following the election—a quarter of whom pledged to be monthly supporters, recognizing the long-term work that is needed," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said Tuesday in a statement to the New York Daily News. "Tens of thousands more are pledging to make sure access to healthcare is protected."
Before joining President-elect Donald Trump's ticket, Pence served as governor of Indiana, where he approved some of the country's strictest anti-choice laws, including one that banned abortion in cases of fetal abnormalities and required aborted or miscarried remains to be cremated and buried. The law, which NARAL Pro-Choice America called "one of the nation's worst," was struck down by a federal court in June. Pence has also called for Planned Parenthood to be de-funded and for Roe v. Wade to be overturned and "consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs."
The swell of contributions prompted at least one high-profile figure on Capitol Hill to direct donors' energy to another worthy cause.
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"Since donating to Planned Parenthood in @mike_pence's name was so much fun. Let's donate to @BCEFA in his name, too. Let's go," Second Lady Jill Biden wrote on Twitter, referring to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Planned Parenthood has not yet disclosed how much money came out of the donations in Pence's name. The health nonprofit provides essential healthcare including medical check-ups, breast cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, among other things, with abortions making up about 3 percent of its services. No federal money goes to abortions directly.
After Trump's election, Richards said, "Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years, and one thing is clear: We will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the care they need, people who come from communities that need our continued support in this new reality—immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people of faith, and more. Healthcare should not be political."