Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How to Make Your Voice Heard and Stop the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

No On 3 To learn about what the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is and how it will change how federal funds are used to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest while completely neglecting the health of a pregnant woman unless her life is in imminent danger, read here.

Activism is extremely important, especially when legislation like the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is introduced and has a high probability of passing. Then, activism becomes crucial and it’s your right to stand up, speak loudly and demand to be heard.

There are many ways you can get involved in stopping the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, including online activism as well as contacting your Representative directly.

#DearJohn Twitter Protest

If you are on Twitter start following and contributing to the #DearJohn Twitter protest. Fabulous feminist and pro-choice folks who are really staying on top of this bill and the protest are Sady Doyle (who also created the #DearJohn campaign), Amanda Marcotte, Shelby Knox and Steph Herold. And, you know, myself, but that really goes without saying, doesn’t it? Oh well, shameless Twitter plug for me!

You can also tweet at John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) as well as the co-sponsors of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act who are on Twitter by looking them up here. Remember, if you are engaging via Twitter, keep your inquiries and tweets directed at representatives productive without offending or insulting.

Contact Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Co-Sponsors

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is sponsored by Chris Smith. He authored this bill and should rightfully know how we feel about it and about his position on stripping rape survivors and women of their reproductive rights. You can find his office mailing addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers here.

You can find the list of all 173 co-sponsors of this bill as well as information on how to contact them here.

Contact Your Representative

You have the undeniable right to contact your representative and voice your position on this bill. You can easily find out exactly who your representative is and what their contact information is here.

To quote Sady Doyle on contacting your rep:

Look that person up on Wikipedia, to get a sense of who they are, if you don’t already know. Then, CALL THEM. Be polite; be professional; do not threaten or use violent or abusive language under any circumstances. Explain to them that their constituents don’t support this bill, explain how and why it’s a bad bill, and let them know that if they support or fail to oppose this bill, they can expect that to impact them in a very bad way when it comes to the matter of keeping their jobs. We hired them; we can fire them. We want to flood them with calls, today and tomorrow. We need to stand up and be counted. And we can. But we need to make sure they don’t just see us talking on the Internet. We need to make sure they hear our voices, one by one by one.

If you’re like myself, you really, really want to get involved and contact your representative but because you’re socially awkward and have a hard time with that whole talking to people thing, especially about something you get very emotionally charged about, this can prove to be quite difficult and you may not come off as professional and respectful as you should. Sady Doyle, the lifesaver of activism that she is, worked out a script she used when calling the short list of Democrats who have co-sponsored H.R. 3 and posted it for others to use. If your Representative is not a Democrat, this script is still a really good start to working out what, exactly you want to say.

Hi, I’d like to leave a comment for the Congressman in regards to a bill that was recently introduced.

[They’ll say okay: It’s their job to be open to comments from the public, remember.]

The bill is HR3, which is an extremist anti-choice measure that would strip rights from rape survivors and people who need abortions in an unprecedented way. Even under the Hyde amendment, there were exemptions for survivors of rape and incest, and they received federal funding; this strips that back by saying that only people who are “forcibly raped” will be covered. And 70% of rapes aren’t “forcible.” Not only that, but it makes it much harder for insurance companies to cover people who need abortions, regardless of why they need them, and it strengthens “conscience” restrictions, which means that doctors can refuse to provide reproductive medical care to anyone at any time, if they can claim that their conscience was involved. [Representative] is one of the very few Democrats who has co-sponsored this bill. I’m very disappointed in him. Most Democrats don’t support these extremist anti-choice restrictions, and most Democratic voters won’t be willing to overlook this when it comes to the polls. I’d appreciate it if you could pass that comment on to the Congressman.

[They’ll say yes.]

Great. Thank you so much for your time.

I also came across a really awesome letter written by a young woman in high school to representative about this bill. Check it out here and write your own!

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