Vice President Mike Pence is not known for supporting women's reproductive rights — rather, he's quite anti-abortion. Which might be why on June 7, Planned Parenthood honored Pence's birthday by asking for donations in his name, a cheeky fundraising tactic aimed at using his anti-women policies against him.
On its social media accounts on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood called for its supporters to celebrate the vice president's birthday ― Pence turns 58 this year ― by making a donation to the health organization in his name. There's more than one way to do this, to be clear. For instance, you can go to the website, click "donate," and then simply type in the name "Mike Pence."
It's the subtle kind of charity, mixed with a little trolling, that reproductive rights advocates have been indulging in ever since Pence burst onto the national political scene last July. But on its Twitter account on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood had another option for giving the birthday boy a present he surely doesn't appreciate: texting in a donation by phone.
If you're a proponent of Planned Parenthood and the health services it provides to millions of American women, and you're looking to show some support in Pence's name, you're just a text message away. According to the above tweet from Planned Parenthood's Washington, D.C. chapter, all you have to do is text 41444 with the message "58pence." Pretty simple, right?
It's no surprise that Planned Parenthood is trying to raise funds off of Pence's name, and in this case birthday, nor why they're trying to fundraise off of the Trump administration more generally. Similarly, after Trump's election, the organization reportedly received more than 315,000 donations, 82,000 of which were in Pence's name.
The Republican Party is nothing if not hostile to women's reproductive rights, even though abortion services are a relatively narrow slice of what Planned Parenthood actually provides to the women who rely on it. State legislatures throughout the country have taken drastic steps to curtail access, whether through roundabout means like so-called TRAP laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers), or through outright bans pegged to the stage of fetal gestation.
As such, turning up a few dollars by taunting the vice president ― especially in a period of thriving left-wing opposition ― is simply a sensible fundraising strategy, and one that may win over a fair amount of progressives.