One Utah woman called Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Friday with a question: Where should she send her used tampons in case of a miscarriage? An Indiana woman called with a different query: Could she go swimming, or would the chlorine in the water be harmful to her unfertilized eggs? And a Colorado woman had a message for the campaign: She may have lost a couple hundred eggs just today.
The flood of calls, reported in comments on Facebook, are part of a social media push started by women in Indiana opposed to a restrictive abortion law passed earlier this year in Indiana that required the remains of a miscarried or aborted fetus to be buried or cremated.
Trump's campaign HQ: 646-736-1779.
Let 'em hear those hoo-has!
— PeriodsforPence (@periodsforpence) July 15, 2016
Hundreds of women from all over the country have liked, shared, or commented on social media posts from the “Periods for Pence” push urging them to call the Trump campaign.
The Indiana woman organizing the social media push told STAT her goal is to “make sure that Pence is still getting our messages” — and that Trump does, too. “Since Trump chose Pence,” she said, “then he must have as deep a concern about women’s health care and reproductive issues, so he should probably know about them too.”
The organizer, who asked that STAT not use her name because she was concerned about her safety and retribution from her employer, said she’s now collaborating with a new social media push that sprung up this week with another alliterative name: “Tampons for Trump.”
“While it may seem trivial to call about your period, it’s sending a very specific message that there are women out there who value the ability to make their own decisions for their health and their health care,” the woman organizing the “Tampons for Trump” push, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, told STAT. “And this is our way of sending that message.”
Trump’s remarks about women and their health have generated repeated controversy throughout the campaign. Last summer, he said that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” when she asked tough questions during a debate, which many interpreted as a suggestion that Kelly was menstruating. And Trump alarmed even abortion opponents this spring when he suggested that women who seek abortions if the procedure were made illegal should face “some form of punishment.” (He quickly recanted that last comment.)
Now, organizers urging women to report their periods are seizing on such remarks.
— Tampons For Trump (@TamponsForTrump) July 15, 2016
The “Tampons for Trump” organizer, who lives in Illinois, said she, too, had left a voicemail for Trump’s campaign. Her question for Trump: Should she call her gynecologist to report moderate spotting on her underwear?
On Friday, some women reported on Facebook that they had managed to get through to campaign staffers at Trump’s headquarters.
The staffer who took the Utah woman’s call about disposing her tampons “sounded annoyed, and she didn’t even know for sure that Pence was the VP nominee,” the caller wrote on Facebook. And the tampons? “She told me to send them to my living room,” the caller wrote.
The Indiana caller unsure about whether to go swimming, meanwhile, wrote that she “explained my plight” to a staffer who promised he’d give Pence her message.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to STAT’s request for comment on the calls.