Mike Pence is the real extremist on the GOP ticket: Just look at his trail of victims in Indiana


“I prefer a simple introduction. I am a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” Indiana Governor Mike Pence said when he accepted the VP nomination at the Republican Convention on July 15. He is forever introducing himself with this little jingle, usually delivered with his index finger extended for “in that order.”


Make no mistake, the vice-presidential candidate is an extremist. Much of the media has failed to communicate this, and perhaps to understand it. They call him a “social conservative” when he is a militant theocrat.

Pence signs Abortion Bill With Added Restrictions – In March, Pence signed—“with a prayer”—a law that bans the abortion of fetuses with Down Syndrome and other genetic conditions, forces a woman to have an ultrasound 18 hours before an abortion, and forces her to bury or cremate the fetal remains, even she miscarries. Nationwide, women voiced their outrage, joining a “Periods for Pence” campaign. In June a federal judge blocked the bill, as Pence no doubt anticipated. The law demonstrated his allegiance to the “personhood” movement, which advocates giving full legal rights to zygotes and criminalizing abortion as murder.

Pence also wants to deny full legal rights to LGBT people – In March 2015 he signed the nation’s most extreme “religious liberty” bill, to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination by people, churches and businesses. It sparked a firestorm—boycotts, protests. The bill was patently unconstitutional and indefensible. Yet Pence defended it and made a fool of himself on the national stage.

Culpable for the Spread of HIV – During all the drama around the anti-LGBT bill, HIV and hepatitis C were spreading like wildfire through a close-knit, isolated community of IV opioid users in Austin, a small town in southeastern Indiana. Austin has a population of about 4,500; 10 percent of these people are estimated by the CDC to be addicted to opioids.
Eighteen months later, some 200 people there have HIV. About 50 percent of them are on HIV treatment; about 75 percent are co-infected with hepatitis C. Very few are in treatment for addiction; even fewer have quit opioids.

Last week, The New York Times ran a story headlined “Mike Pence on HIV: Prayer, Then Taking Action” (later changed to “Mike Pence on HIV: Prayer, Then a Change of Heart”). The piece portrays Pence sympathetically as a leader who, faced with an HIV outbreak apparently from out of the blue, had to decide between two equally legitimate but competing claims: his “moral opposition to needle exchanges on the grounds that they supported drug abuse” and “an epidemic that was growing more dire by the day.”

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