My Blog for Choice, 2012
My answer? Get serious, and hold candidates’ feet to the fire! Raise the issue, and make the expectation clear: The right to choose and the right of privacy in reproductive health issues is nonnegotiable. Choice is about protecting women’s access to safe, legal abortion, but it also means reducing the need for abortion through access to birth control and sex education. Pro-choice also means women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term should get what they need to have healthy pregnancies.
Here are seven ways to get serious about supporting pro-choice candidates:
- Find out who your candidates are and review their stands on choice. Candidates for national and state office are the most important because officials at those levels have the most influence over the issue. But candidates are local levels are also important because they may one day run to higher office. You can start now to educate them on women's health issues.
- Press the issue with candidates through letters, phone calls, or public forums. Ask for a commitment that they will protect women’s access to reproductive health services—those who can afford private health insurance and those who cannot—and that they will block government intrusion in medical decisions between a woman and her doctor.
- Tell your pro-choice story and retell it. You can also pass on others' stories that are posted at NARAL Pro-Choice America. Make your appeal personal. Let candidates know that one-size-fits-all restrictions hurt women’s health and block constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
- Pull out your checkbook and support pro-choice candidates wherever and however you can. You may be fortunate to have pro-choice officials in your state, but your sisters elsewhere may not. And the more pro-choice voices in Congress and in state legislatures, the better off all American women will be.
- Spread the word through your networks—churches, associations, social networks. Don't let any make you think you should be silent or that you are some nutcase: You are simply a citizen who is concerned that everyone is free to make personal health decisions that are best for herself and her family.
- Band together with other pro-choice advocates. There’s power in numbers, you’ll learn from each other, and you’ll make friends.
- Never, never give up, and never take freedom for granted.