Welcome to the 7th Annual Blog for Choice Day, hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America. For last year’s post on anti-choice gains in politics, click here. This year’s question is:
What will you do to help elect pro-choice candidates in 2012?
It’s probably obvious that this question refers to this year’s November US election. Other than continuing to blog and social network on reproductive rights issues I’m not sure what else I can do for this. After all, I’m stuck up here in Canada and we aren’t expecting a federal election for another couple of years. But I do have a couple of suggestions for American feminists working on the ground and on the web during the election period.
1. Be discerning. Obama was supposed to be a pro-choice President, and those of us feminists who believed in that might be feeling a bit screwed over at the moment, particularly as a result of the Plan B betrayal. Get out to all the campaign offices and town halls you can and don’t support a candidate who doesn’t give you an answer on your issues.
2. Make it a deal-breaker. Yes, there are many important issues in an election. By all means stay active on your other issues, but make sure being anti-choice is on your list of deal-breakers for supporting a candidate. Things are different in Canada and abortion issues are usually not my top concern heading into an election, but I only vote for candidates whose personal and party positions are pro-choice.
3. Make your voice heard. Don’t let a politician say they didn’t know about your issues. Call, write, or email your candidates’ campaign offices. Better yet, go to their public appearances and try to get to ask a question, or meet with them after. Write letters to the editor of your local paper. Blog, tweet, and post on Facebook about your issues and to rally support for the pro-choice candidate you end up backing.
4. Put your time where your mouth is. Not everyone has money to give, but most campaigns also need volunteers for a variety of jobs, meeting almost anyone’s schedule. If you’re able to give even a few hours on a pro-choice candidate’s campaign, you could be making the difference between them winning or losing.
Although 2011 was a record year for states passing anti-abortion legislation, your hard work helped hold off an anti-abortion ballot measure in Mississippi. We know you can do the same in the other states where such measures are being proposed.
And not just that.
The 2012 election may be an opportunity not just to defend our rights but to elect candidates that will expand them. I look forward to seeing that happen.