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Mass. Planned Parenthood receives donations in honor of Mike Pence

Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In the wake of president-elect Donald J. Trump’s recent victory, people have been putting safety pins in their clothes as a show of support for victims of racism and misogyny.

But others are taking a different approach to protest the Republican’s election: They’re sending donations to groups that support women’s rights and health care in honor of Trump’s running-mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, the organization’s political arm, said contributions have been trickling in with the vice president-elect’s name attached. The trend mirrors that of a national movement pushed by celebrities following the election.


Pence has been a strong opponent of abortion. In March, the Indiana governor signed a bill that added new limits to women’s access to abortion in his state. As a member of the House of Representatives in 2011, he called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, according to The Washington Post.

Johanna Kaiser, a spokeswoman for the local organization, said given the “unprecedented outpouring of support,” the group’s development department is still processing donations.

“But I can report that from 11/8 through 11/14, 18.7 percent of online donations to PPLM were in honor of Vice President-elect Pence,” she said in an e-mail. “More broadly, PPLM has seen a 32 percent increase in donors online compared to the same time last year.”

She said the numbers do not include donations made by check, over the phone, or in person.

Typically, an “honoree” — in this case, Pence — is sent a certificate of appreciation when a donation is made in the person’s name. But due to the high number of overall donations Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts has received since the election, the organization is trying to figure out “how best to share this news with honorees,” Kaiser said.


“We ... have not sent notifications at this time,” she said.

The nationwide trend got a boost from some big names. Bethany Cosentino, a musical artist from California, posted a message on Instagram last week asking people to send money to Planned Parenthood on behalf of Pence.

Consentino boasts 145,000 followers, and her request was shared widely online. The same message was picked up by comedian Amy Schumer and actress and author Amber Tamblyn.

On a national level, of the roughly 160,000 donations Planned Parenthood Federation of America has received recently, 20,000 have been in Pence’s name, Kaiser confirmed.

“Thank you so much! We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve received. Many people are donating in Clinton or Pence’s name,” the organization said from its national Twitter account on Saturday.

Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.