Team Up With NARAL This Summer To Fight The Patriarchy, Protect Repro Rights, & #Resist

Whether you’re coming down from a high after seeing Wonder Woman kick inequality’s butt or you’re still fired up from marching, rallying, and flooding Congress with phone calls, there’s a lot you can do this summer to make sure Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans don’t roll back the clock on our rights.

NARAL’s 1.2 million member-activists have been making noise to call out Trump and the GOP’s attacks on our rights and working to move the ball forward in the fight for reproductive freedom. Here’s how you can join our fight to mobilize and organize against the Trump administration’s anti-woman, anti-family, and anti-progressive agenda:

You can transform yourself into a bonafide organizing superhero with NARAL’s Organizing Toolkit, which will show you how to get your friends, family, and neighbors together to talk about why reproductive freedom is so important and how to let your representatives know you support expanding access to reproductive healthcare.

The toolkit will help you:

  • Effectively contact your senator or state representative
  • Discuss what it means to be pro-choice with the people in your life
  • Collect signatures and submit a petition to your senator in support of affordable birth control

Many NARAL members across the country are already using the strategies covered in the toolkit and winning fights that will inspire you to take on the patriarchy (and restrictions on abortion access) in your own backyard. In 2017 alone, 14 states and D.C. have enacted 26 pro-choice measures to fight back against the Trump administration.

In Nevada, NARAL member Chauntille Roberts joined the #FeministRoadTrip to tell her state legislators why they should vote to keep birth control affordable and accessible.

“I’m so happy I joined other NARAL members on the #FeministRoadtrip. It showed me that my voice is powerful in the fight to keep basic reproductive health care accessible for everyone. I don’t want any other woman to be left without the right to choose — the right to make her own medical decisions about her own body without interference from politicians and their ideological agendas.”

Thanks to hard work from NARAL members like Chauntille, Nevada passed a law that will keep birth control co-pay free for women in the state no matter what Trump and Congressional Republicans do.

In Colorado, NARAL members worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass a law that makes it possible for women in the state to get 12 months of birth control at a time.

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Executive Director Karen Middleton explains why this is so important for a woman’s right to decide whether, when, and with whom to start a family;

“This was a bipartisan, commonsense bill that made it through a divided legislature for the simple reason that it is good public policy. Access to affordable contraception is one of our core reproductive principles, and we will continue to build on the kind of success we saw today. And as the Trump Administration attempts to restrict women’s access to abortion care and contraception, it becomes even more important for grassroots organizations and citizens in the states to fight back.”

We spoke with NARAL’s National Communications Director Kaylie Hanson Long about why is it more important than ever to organize and become active in the fight to ensure women’s reproductive rights are protected.

“If you tuned into any portion of the 2016 general election, you most likely heard Donald Trump and Mike Pence make pledges to appoint justices who would rule in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. Or maybe you heard about their plans to defund Planned Parenthood, or their desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act — the greatest expansion of reproductive healthcare coverage in a generation. Now, these two are in the White House and their rhetoric is becoming reality,” she said.

And it’s not just the White House, it is the Republican party as a whole who are using the Trump administration as a cover to push their anti-woman, anti-choice, agenda.

“The people in the highest levels of our government are working to backtrack on reproductive rights and impose a worldview on us all where women are less than equal. We know that vision for America has permeated debates about the future of reproductive rights at the state level for years as well, and we’ve reached a point where anti-choice politicians in our own backyards are launching attacks on women’s rights on a nearly weekly basis. Now is the time for all of us — women and men — to come together and resist.

While the appointment of conservative extremists such as Charmaine Yoest (who peddles the myth that abortion causes breast cancer) and Teresa Manning (who is fond of the lie that birth control doesn’t work) to positions at the Health and Human Services Dept, there are other people and potential appointees we need to be aware of.

“Right now, the Senate is considering a nominee to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, John Bush. This is a man who compared abortion to slavery, and called Roe v. Wade a ‘tragedy’ under oath at his recent Senate hearing. If confirmed, he’ll sit on a court that will hear cases with a huge impact on reproductive rights. In fact, a case challenging an Ohio law that defunds Planned Parenthood is currently being heard by the Sixth Circuit. Additionally, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee have enacted anti-choice TRAP laws and a mandatory-ultrasound law, which are being challenged and could be appealed to the Sixth circuit,” Kaylie explained.

Participating in grassroots organizations and activities is all the more important when we look at the full spectrum of what the “reproductive rights” banner covers. For instance, the high rate of maternal mortality in Texas which is not being addressed as opposed to anti-choice laws which do nothing to help women.

“The fight for reproductive rights is really the fight for gender equality. Without birth control, abortion access, and paid family leave, women can’t control our futures and become equal partners in society. The decisions about if, when, and how to have children are the most consequential decisions we make as women. They’re decisions that can determine our economic security, our ability to get the education we want, and parent the way we choose,” said Kaylie.

NARAL are not taking the summer off, instead they are focusing on supporting pro choice candidates across the country to build up a legislative resistance against the Trump/Republican agenda, most notably in the important gubernatorial race in Virginia.

“NARAL members brought a true champion for reproductive freedom, Ralph Northam in Virginia, one step closer to becoming governor of Virginia. We poured our energy into this race because Lt. Gov. Northam has a proven record of advancing abortion rights and reproductive freedom. Voters rewarded him for that. Our members will continue their effective organizing work over the next year and a half, with the mission of electing pro-choice majorities across the country,” said Kaylie.

Now it is your time to get involved. Gather your friends and family to tell your representatives, from city hall to Congress, why you support protecting and expanding a woman’s right to decide if, when, and how to start or grow her family. That means keeping birth control affordable, defending access to legal abortion, protecting women from pregnancy discrimination, and providing parents with paid family leave.

When you organize an action party, you’ll be giving your friends and family an opportunity to join together and call their member of Congress, write a letter, or even sign a petition to advance reproductive freedom in the days of Donald Trump.

“The future of reproductive rights has the potential to be impacted by so many parts of our government, and that’s why we need to remain vigilant in our fight to protect our most basic freedoms as women,” said Kaylie.

Download the NARAL Organizing Toolkit to learn more about how to host an action party in your backyard this summer.

[Parts of this post were originally written by NARAL Pro Choice America and published on Medium. Reprinted here with permission.]

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