This is part of the NARAL “Blog for Choice” day.
The best thing pro-choicers can do this year to honor the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is to vote pro-choice. Don’t like the fact that 92 anti-choice provisions were enacted last year? Don’t want to see a sequel to the Defund Planned Parenthood debate? Well, if you want pro-choice laws, you need pro-choice lawmakers. We all know the anti-choice side will vote their beliefs, and we need to do the same.
So, how to get out the pro-choice vote? The usual channels will need to be utilized of course: voter registration drives, phone banking and canvassing, etc. What we also need do though, is something that we should only start now, and continue doing for as long as it takes. We need to start talking about abortion.
Granted, it isn’t the easiest topic to slip into conversation. As an activist though, most of my friends have come to accept, and indeed anticipate the fact that I may just start talking about abortion. As I write this at my local bar, I am wearing my Trust Women shirt, from the DC Abortion Fund. Just last night I went on a diatribe about anti-choice legislators at a friend’s birthday party. It can be done.
Maybe you’re not ready to wear your pro-choice ideals on your sleeve just yet. That’s fine, I get it. You can still write a letter to the editor, or better yet (albeit harder) an op-ed. I am not an authority on abortion, but I wrote an op-ed about my experience as a clinic assistant. It’s a voice that isn’t always heard in the debate, but one that provides a great perspective into the lived experience of abortion for both the women and the medical staff. What’s your abortion story?
The LGBT movement has achieved a lot of success in recent years, and one of the reasons was that they personalized the issue. People started telling their stories. Everyone realized that they had a gay friend or family member, and then it became a lot harder to treat them differently, or see them as less than the other people we love. I think the pro-choice movement could learn a lot from this. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. There are a lot of us with something to share, if we choose to. Even if it isn’t your personal abortion story, you still have your opinion. This is an issue that matters to you, and you have a right to make your voice heard. Now you need to exercise that right. Remember what your parents told you, it’s nice to share.
In the light of the current onslaught of anti-choice legislation, we need to make this election year about getting out the vote and about getting our voices out; to start talking until people start listening. We owe it to our candidates and elected officials to tell them that we are pro-choice, and we vote.