Q: Did Vice President Mike Pence say, “Allowing rape victims to have abortions will lead to women trying to get raped”?
A: No. That fabricated quote comes from a made-up story published by a “hybrid news/satire” website.
Vice President Mike Pence did not say that “allowing rape victims to have abortions will lead to women trying to get raped.”
That fake quote originated from a story published by Politicot.com on July 17, 2016. A version of that story was later published on millytips.com, where it was flagged by Facebook users as potentially fake news.
Politicot.com is one of a few websites from Newslo, which claims to be “the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web.” We’ve written about stories from Newslo before, and it is on our list of websites that post either fake or satirical news articles.
Newslo’s tagline is “Just Enough News,” as its stories often start with a paragraph of genuine news followed by several more paragraphs of false information and quotes.
However, stories posted on Newslo affiliated websites have “show facts” and “hide facts” buttons that allow readers to differentiate between the parts of the story that are real or fake. But other websites republish those stories without the buttons, making it difficult for readers to tell what is true and what isn’t.
In this case, the story about Pence starts with some of the opening lines from a March 2016 article from Salon.com about a bill signed by Pence, the former governor of Indiana, that placed further restrictions on abortions performed in the state.
Salon.com, March 25, 2016: The Republican war on women continues unabated. The same week that conservatives argued in the Supreme Court that employers should be able to stop their employees from getting contraception coverage outside of the company health plan, Indiana joined the ranks of states like Texas and Florida in passing a draconian law that purports to protect women while in fact endangering their health by making safe abortion much harder to get. Gov. Mike Pence signed it Thursday night.
The bill is one of those omnibus anti-choice bills Republicans are fond of these days, a giant bill stuffed with as many asinine restrictions on abortion with an eye towards making abortion as miserable and humiliating an experience as possible, and ideally something women can’t get legally at all.
The legislation that Pence signed primarily prohibits an abortion if the doctor knows that the woman is seeking to end her pregnancy specifically because of the fetus’ race, sex, national origin, ancestry or disability. The bill also restricts fetal tissue donation, and requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
But it’s completely false, as the Newslo story says, that Pence told the Huffington Post that allowing rape victims to get abortions would lead to “an epidemic of women claiming to have been raped just so they could have an abortion.” Nor did Pence suggest that “women would go out and get raped on purpose just so they could get off work” to recover from having an abortion. Those quotes were made-up by the fake story’s author.
In his official statement about the bill, Pence said: “I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable — the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn. HEA 1337 will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry, or disability, including Down syndrome.”
Newslo. “Mike Pence: Allowing Rape Victims to Have Abortions Will Lead to Women Trying to Get Raped.” Politicot.com. 17 Jul 2016.
Daily Tips. “Mike Pence: Allowing Rape Victims to Have Abortions Will Lead to Women Trying to Get Raped.” Millytips.com. Accessed 11 Sep 2017.
Marcotte, Amanda. “Mike Pence’s sadistic abortion law: Indiana passes draconian anti-choice bill geared towards humiliating and bankrupting women who have abortions.” Salon.com. 25 Mar 2016.
Schaedel, Sydney. “How to Flag Fake News on Facebook.” FactCheck.org. 6 Jul 2017.
Schaedel, Sydney. “A Fake Paul Ryan Quote.” FactCheck.org. 11 Jul 2017.
Nowlan, Thomas. “A Fake Sean Spicer Quote.” FactCheck.org. 3 Jul 2017.
Smith, Mitch. “Indiana Governor Signs Abortion Bill With Added Restrictions.” New York Times. 24 Mar 2016.
Indiana General Assembly. Enrolled House Bill 1337. 24 Mar 2016.
Pence, Mike. “Governor Pence Statement on HEA 1337.” Press release. In.gov. 24 Mar 2016.