By Rika Christensen | 13 August 2016
While it’s often useless to talk about things politicians said more than a decade ago, there are times when those things are relevant to current events. Such is the case with Mike Pence. He’s a religious nut, as evidenced by the discriminatory “religious freedom law” he helped pass in Indiana, which specifically targeted the LGBT community. But, as bad as that is, it’s not the most insane thing he’s ever said or done.
During a 2002 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Pence discussed his opinion of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s call for better education and protection against STDs, particularly in the form of condoms. For Pence, who once advocated for prayer to stop an HIV outbreak, rather than a clean needle exchange, saying that condoms can help protect against STDs was just too much.
He spouted this absurdity in response:
“Well, I just simply believe the only truly safe sex, Wolf, as the president believes, is no sex. And we ought to, with leaders of the stature of the secretary of state, we ought to be sending a message to kids across the country and the opportunity had across the world that abstinence is the best choice for young people. But let’s be clear, last year, the National Institute of Health, Wolf, and some 28 separate experts said at least a half dozen to ten sexually transmitted diseases for which condom use has zero preventative value. The secretary of state is simply wrong.
The problem is it was too modern of an answer, Wolf. It was — it truly was a modern, liberal answer to a problem that parents like me are facing all over America, and frankly, all over the world.”
Yes, condoms are too modern and too liberal for an abstinence-only nutbag like then-Congressman, Mike Pence. Everything everyone’s parents ever said about condoms, everything every sex-ed program has ever said, even everything the CDC has said, is wrong. Pence knows things.
This is the man who wanted to redefine rape so that federal funds would only pay for abortions in the instance of “forcible rape.” That’s the same thing as the infamous Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment. Pence is known as a pioneer in the fight against Planned Parenthood, and has signed multiple bills limiting abortion access in his state of Indiana.
Pence is also the man that said working mothers stunt their children’s emotional growth, and who diverted $3.5 million from the state’s TANF fund to pay an anti-abortion group known for lying to, well, lie to Indiana’s women about abortion.
So, while it seems silly to bring up something he said as a congressman 14 years ago, it’s also frighteningly relevant to who and what he’d be as vice president, because he’s still that man. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear him say that he and Trump will seek to ban sex-education (if not condoms themselves) in favor of telling girls just to keep an aspirin between their knees if they don’t want to get pregnant, or an STD.
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