Mike Pence says he defends the "sanctity of life" — but his actions say otherwise

Mike Pence says he defends the "sanctity of life" — but his actions say otherwise

When the issue of abortion came up during the first vice presidential debate Tuesday night, Republican nominee Donald Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, gave an impassioned answer about why he's pro-life.

"For me, the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief, that ancient principle where God says 'before you were formed in the womb, I knew you,'" Pence said of how his faith shaped his anti-abortion views. "A society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable: the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn."

Many who were watching the debate quickly picked up on Pence's use of the phrase "sanctity of life" and compare it to his political beliefs and policies they pointing in the opposite direction. 

Pence doesn't seem to really care about the "sanctity" of all lives — especially LGBTQ people, the poor and refugees.

In 2015, Pence signed into a law a bill that would allow Indiana business owners to deny service to LGBTQ customers. He also once advocated for conversion therapy, a practice that is considered harmful by most medical and psychological organizations. 

Pence's war to protect unborn fetuses also had a very real consequence on the rural poor in Indiana, many of whom relied on Planned Parenthood. After gutting funding for the organization, parts of rural Indiana were left without easily accessible resources for HIV prevention, counseling and testing, leading to an outbreak, as the Chicago Tribune reported.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Pence said that Indiana would not resettle Syrian refugees, saying "Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers."

Pence, however, does not have the authority to make such a call, according to a federal court ruling.

Pence is also a staunch supporter of the death penalty, something that more than half of Americans no longer support.

Pence may seem more level-headed than Trump, but many of his views are extreme.

While Pence may seem to be a good foil to Trump's brash and bombastic demeanor, he has a history of extreme viewpoints and policy decisions, which one can argue is actually worse than Trump's say-anything approach.

At the next vice presidential debate, it may be wise for the moderator to follow up with Pence: Whose life is he talking about?