opinion   |   column

COLUMN: Pence needs to listen

Indiana has been a conservative state for as long as most of us can remember. So it came as no surprise that Mike Pence was elected as Indiana’s governor in 2012.

What has been surprising, however, is how controversial Pence has been.

Pence has angered many residents with his extreme conservative policies from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, blocking Syrian refugees from entering Indiana and, most recently, anti-abortion legislation.

Pence’s controversy and insatiable need to push his views regardless of the opinions of others makes him not only unpopular, but one that barely stands a chance for 

The RFRA drew national attention last year as many on both sides of the aisle felt it would let businesses discriminate on religious grounds.

Pence signed the bill, and, as a result, Indianapolis nearly lost some of its biggest revenue creators, including the NCAA, Gen Con, Salesforce and 
Angie’s List.

Eventually, he signed an amendment to the bill to prevent discrimination but it took weeks of threats from Indiana residents and businesses to bring him to that decision.

Not long after the RFRA scandal, Pence brought more negative attention to Indiana as he refused to allow Syrian refugees into the state.

This came after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and many other conservative governors followed suit, but most of them have dropped the matter as the federal government overruled the decisions to block refugees under the Refugee Act of 1980.

But his defunding of refugee relocation services was found unconstitutional by a federal judge.

Now, Pence is under fire for considering to sign in one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, House Bill 1337.

The bill would prevent a woman from getting an abortion if the reason for doing so is the fetus’s sex, race, color, or if it has a disability such as Down syndrome or other fetal abnormality.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as Indiana residents, have expressed concerns that the bill puts lives of women in danger.

In November, Indiana voters can choose someone who plays by the rules and does not endanger Hoosiers.

Pence should listen to Hoosiers. Otherwise, he risks being remembered as an infamous governor.

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