'Hello governor, I have my period': Abortion bill protests go viral

Governor Mike Pence has been fielding calls from women about their periods Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Governor Mike Pence has been fielding calls from women about their periods

"Good Morning, I just wanted to inform the governor that things seem to be drying up today. No babies seem to be up in there. Okay?"

For the past week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence's office has been bombarded by calls, emails and Facebook posts like these in protest of a recently introduced anti-abortion bill.

The bill focuses on limiting abortions based on foetus characteristics including foetal abnormalities, gender, race or ancestry. It also requires that fetal remains be buried or cremated.

The group Periods for Pence - created by an Indianapolis resident who has asked to remain anonymous - is encouraging people to communicate their frustrations or opposition through updating the governor's office on the status of their periods as frequently as possible.

"Fertilized eggs can be expelled during a woman's period without a woman even knowing that she might have had the potential blastocyst in her. Therefore, any period could potentially be a miscarriage without knowledge. I would certainly hate for any of my fellow Hoosier women to be at risk of penalty if they do not 'properly dispose' of this or report it," wrote the site's author.

"Perhaps we should make sure to contact Governor Pence's office to report our periods. We wouldn't want him thinking that thousands of Hoosier women a day are trying to hide anything, would we?...it lets them face an undue and unjust burden, for a change!"

"I was just venting to my husband about how invasive this bill was and how difficult it was making a woman's decision during an already difficult time in their lives," the founder told BBC Trending. "I said half-jokingly, if he wants to know that much he might as well know about my period too, he said 'you might be on to something there'."

"I think everyone has a very personal story and too often Americans are given the impression that there are groups taking care of these issues for you. I feel like by getting people involved at a grassroots level, letting them contribute to the larger voice, they're given more ownership of the process," she added.

The page has already garnered support, with over 19,000 people liking the page and posts being shared hundreds of times.

Women have been posting their caller experiences, with many accounts ending with the click of a phone hanging up.

"Just left a message for Pence asking if it was ok with him that I continue to take my birth control back to back," one contributor wrote. "I don't have periods, and I wanted to make sure that was legal since I'm not giving my eggs a fair chance of getting fertilised."

Some men joined in, contacting the office on behalf of their partners or girlfriends or playing along with the joke. One wrote "Because my sperm is one half of the process of making the baby, what is the best manner for me to communicate to Pence the condition of my sperm?"

The founder of the site said that one of the best, and unexpected, things about the group is that women are contacting her not only to support the idea but to privately confide their own personal experiences.

"Women have been saying I lost my job because of my healthcare situation, or this is the reason why I had to make such a hard decision in my life," she said. "Women who share their experiences with miscarriages and how traumatic that's been. It's a safe space for those stories too."

Governor Pence's office has not responded or contacted the group. Kara Brookes, a representative for Governor Pence's office, told the BBC that they "are always willing to take calls from constituents who have questions, concerns or are looking for assistance."

Although the site has had some opposition from anti-abortion posters, the founder said they will support women who want to continue with the campaign for as long as needed.

"I think a lot of people get the idea that we're a pro-abortion page. We're not, we're pro women and we have to understand every woman is independent. We shouldn't be lumped into two groups of women who would or wouldn't get an abortion. It's not an experience most would go into lightly and we have to respect that."

Blog by Olivia Lace-Evans

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