Lobbying & Advocacy On Sex Education
2006 midterm elections and reproductive justice
- more reproductive rights supporters in Congress
- friends in top leadership positions in House and the Senate
- pro-choice members remain a minority
Good and Bad
- vote to overturn the Global Gag
- vote funding for Title X national family planning program
- vote to repeal abstinence-only restrictions for HIV prevention programs
- Democrats support ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs
- Susan Orr appointed to head nation’s family planning program
But nothing has really happened
- Everything tied up in mega bills
- President threatens vetos: “You’re fixin’ to see what they call a fiscal showdown in Washington:”
Campaigns have started!
- Everyone in election mode
- Presidential concern for budget
In their own words. . .
- “ [No one] “under 16 should be dating ever ever ever for any reason. You’re brain damaged, it gets better.” (Pam Stenzel)
- “ One in 5 times condoms will fail for pregnancy.” ( Passion & Principles , Leader's Guide, 10)
- “ Research confirms that 14 percent of the women who use condoms scrupulously for birth control become pregnant within a year.” Choosing the Best, The Big Talk Book
Abstinence Only = Bad Policy
- Create the ONLY funding stream for sex education that teaches about the benefits of contraception and abstinence.
- Funds programs that research shows can work.
- Funds programs that young people, teachers, and medical experts support.
- Funds programs to prepare young people with information and skills they will use the rest of their lives.
Lobbying is no mystery
- Lobbying is: trying to influence those who make policies that affect our lives
- You can make a difference:
- Legislators want to be re-elected
- our opponents have defied reality and turned the world on its head.
- Speaking from a faith perspective
Goals of lobbying
- To educate and change minds
- To develop relationships with policymakers and their staffs
- To become a resource for trusted information
- Champions: leaders; bill sponsors
- Allies: legislators on your side but not activists
- Fence Sitters: the uncommitted
- Mellow Opponents: against the issue, but not actively so
- Hard Core Opponents: those lawmakers who are leading your opposition.
- Identify yourself, the organization you represent and the issue you’re interested in
- Thank him/her for taking the time to see you
- Explain why you support this legislation
- Support your views with facts and stories
- Say what action you’d like taken and why
Things to remember
- Know about the legislator
- Keep your message simple: focus on one issue
- YOU DON”T HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT
- Engage the person in a conversation