Ben Johnson


Self-professed ‘pro-life’ Democrat criticizes pro-life Republican at Planned Parenthood

Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, June 14, 2012, ( – John Gregg, the professed “pro-life” Democratic candidate for governor of Indiana, attacked pro-life Republican rival Mike Pence for defunding Planned Parenthood in a press conference outside an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood office on Monday.

“Folks, this issue is not about abortion,” Gregg began. “I am a pro-life Democrat…but this issue is about women’s access to health care.”

As governor, Gregg said he would have vetoed the current state law denying state funding to Planned Parenthood, “because it is unfair to deny women access to birth control.” 

“Many of these women are not going to have the opportunity to get mammograms…anywhere else,” he said. Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms.

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As a member of the House of Representatives, Pence led the charge to cut all funding for the abortion giant. 

Standing alongside the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful was Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana, who also addressed the event. “What Mike Pence is about is imposing his moral code on the rest of us,” she said.

As the center of the press conference, Gregg highlighted a 148-page book published by the Indiana Policy Review, which Pence co-founded, entitled Indiana Mandate, An Agenda for the 1990s. Calling it “The Pence Plan,” Gregg said, “This manifesto says that contraception for unmarried couples is bad and destroys the American family.”

Among the statements the Gregg campaign calls “extreme” is, “[T]he myth that there can be ‘safe’ or inconsequential sex outside of marriage…has many ugly heads. It leads to abortion, pornography and the general denigration of women as objects to be had – ‘safely,’ to be sure. Fundamentally, ‘safe sex’ of this variety destroys the American family and the culture that goes with it.”

Pence was one of 22 authors of the 1992 book. He wrote only one chapter, on term limits.

“We want to set the record straight,” said Republican spokeswoman Christy Denault. “The Indiana Mandate was not written or edited by Mike Pence.”

Nonetheless, Gregg signaled his intention to campaign on the issue, launching a website on the book, “He needs to say whether he still believes this stuff or he doesn’t,” Gregg said.

Gregg’s running mate, Vi Simpson, is an outspoken supporter of abortion-on-demand, including partial-birth abortion. Gregg said he chose her in part for her stance on social issues. 

Mike Pence’s running mate, Sue Ellspermann, has been highlighted by World magazine for her pro-life views

Indiana Right to Life challenged Gregg to disclose how much money he has given to Planned Parenthood.

“Mr. Gregg is doing a lot of talking about what taxpayers should be forced to pay for, but we have yet to hear how much of his own money he is willing to send to Planned Parenthood,” said Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.