New Yorkers: Support the Reproductive Health Act!

May 6, 2009 § 3 Comments

Lalena Howard of NARAL Pro-Choice NY was kind enough to speak at yesterday’s meeting of the school club Shira and I run, Feminist Focus. She told us about NARAL’s campaign to get people to send personalized letters in support of the Reproductive Health Act. These kinds of letters can have serious impact, since politicians really don’t get them too often.

I wrote mine today, following NARAL’s tips:

  1. Use our website to look up the names and contact information for both your State Assemblymember and State Senator.
  2. Always tell your legislators you live in their district! Legislators want to represent the interests of their constituents, especially if they know your vote depends on it!
  3. When drafting your letter, refer to our resources to get an idea of what others are saying.
  4. Share your unique perspective on why your legislator should support the Act. Are you a parent who wants to ensure your daughter’s rights are protected? Are you a doctor, nurse, teacher or social worker who works with women facing unplanned pregnancies every day? Tell your legislator about your unique perspective and how it has led you to support the Reproductive Health Act.
  5. State clearly that you would like your legislator to vote in support of the Reproductive Health Act. Make sure that he or she hears what you are asking loud and clear.
  6. Include your contact information (especially your home address, so that they know you live in the district). Be open to continued communication and updates.
  7. Encourage your friends to write letters of their own. The New York State Legislature needs to hear from pro-choice voices throughout the state to pass the Reproductive Health Act. It’s up to all of us!

My own letter is after the jump.
Dear Senator/Assemblymember,

I am a constituent; in fact, I live just a few blocks from your district office. I am writing to urge you to vote in support of the Reproductive Health Act.

Three-quarters of New York voters agree that the state legislature needs to pass a law which protects a woman’s right to an abortion. Though I am too young to vote, I stand with this majority. I recognize the overwhelming need for a law which will give women control over their reproductive lives.

I am seventeen years old. My rights, and the rights of other young women like me, are still under fire. For example, only very recently did we win the right to purchase emergency contraception without a prescription. My peers who are younger than seventeen still do not have this fundamental and practical right, though there is no medical evidence to support an age requirement for over-the-counter access. We need a bill to establish our rights as young women, and to send the message that New York State is a leader in the pro-choice movement.

I am interested in continued communication with your office about this exceptionally important issue. I hope you will voice your support of this bill and help New York reclaim its place as a beacon of progress for women.




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