Kaine Dealt Pence Best Question Of VP Debate: 'Why Don't You Trust Women?'
Tim Kaine and Mike Pence battled it out over abortion at the vice presidential debate on Tuesday night in Virginia.
It was a moment all women adore: Hearing two straight cis white men debate women's rights to their own bodies.
Just as a brief reminder, abortion is a legally protected right for all women in the United States.
Both men do not have stellar records on full reproductive rights. But if we're going head-to-head, Pence is far, far worse. We'll get to that in a moment.
During the VP debate, the candidates were asked about their religion. Both men are rather Christian and proud about following their faith.
So the candidates were asked about a time when their personal religious beliefs were a struggle. Kaine spoke about the death penalty. He personally does not believe in the death penalty, but upheld it as law while serving as governor of Virginia.
Pence decided to go ahead and bring up abortion. He said that he stands "with great compassion for the sanctity of life." He said that if you're pro-life, you should also be pro-adoption.
Pence said that he expanded health care options for women in Indiana beyond abortion. He criticized Hillary Clinton for wanting to repeal the Hyde Amendment.
Indeed, Clinton supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, which had its 40th anniversary on Friday. The Hyde Amendment keeps federal funding, like funding through Medicaid, from being used toward abortions.
So basically it restricts access to abortion for poor women.
As mentioned earlier, Kaine has not had the cleanest record on reproductive rights. He has gone back and forth on joining the Clinton campaign platform in support of getting rid of the Hyde Amendment.
Kaine responded to Pence by talking about his division of personal belief and policy.
Although he is a Christian, and the religion does not support abortion, Kaine has long stood by maintaining access to abortion.
Kaine said at the debate,
We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience, their own supportive partner, their own minister -- but then make their own decision about pregnancy. We trust American women to do that.
Kaine added that Trump has said he would punish women for abortion. Kaine continued,
I think you should live your moral values, but the last thing -- the very last thing -- the government should do is have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices.
To which Pence shook his head and said that he and Trump would never support laws punishing women for having abortions, which is hilarious, because both of them support those laws.
A few months ago, Trump literally said women who get abortions would face "some form of punishment" under his presidency. And let's take a quick look at Mike Pence's record.
Sure, he never explicitly put a law criminalizing women for getting abortions, but he sure did hurt women seeking abortions -- and other people along the way.
Pence hates Planned Parenthood. He got Planned Parenthood funding cut in Indiana, where he serves as governor.
This caused a Planned Parenthood in Scott County, which was the only HIV testing center in the county, to close. Then the county had an HIV epidemic.
Mike Pence hates women's right to abortion. In July, he said,
We'll see Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.
He's done work on his own to limit women's right to abortion. He signed an absurd anti-abortion law in Indiana this past spring, one of many pieces of legislature that state tried to pass in 2016:
That law said that women had to cremate or bury the remains of an aborted fetus, which are generally smaller than a peapod.
Except that the law was so broad, this would also apply to women who had miscarriages or stillbirths. Nice.
The law also said that women have to listen to an ultrasound 18 hours before an abortion, which is equivalent to creating a waiting period, making abortion less accessible.
The law also said that women could not get abortions under the basis of a fetus having a deformation or disability.
The law also said that doctors who provide abortions need hospital admitting privileges. A similar law from Texas was shot down by the Supreme Court this summer.
Women were so outraged about Pence's apparent interest in their vaginas that they began a campaign telling Pence about their periods.
Portions of Pence's massively anti-abortion law, including the ban on abortions for deformation and disability and the cremation measure, were stopped by a federal judge before going into effect.
Going through Pence's record on reproductive rights took so long I actually forgot what I was talking about when I started this.
Oh right, the debate!
So Pence went on and on about how he respects the sanctity of life and improving women's healthcare and whatnot.
But Kaine had just one question to cut through the bullsh*t:
Governor, why can't you trust women to make this choice for themselves?
And Kaine went in for the win, saying,
Why don't you trust women? Why doesn't Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?
Finally, Kaine explained his thoughts on how politicians should serve the public. He said,
That's what we ought to be doing in public life: Living our lives of faith, our motivation, with enthusiasm and excitement, convincing each other, dialoguing with each other on important moral issues of the day. But on fundamental issues of morality, we should let women make their own decisions.
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