Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Pro-choice week of action 23 – 29 October

Abortion Rights is launching a national ‘pro-choice week of action’ to mark the 39th anniversary of the Abortion Act, raise awareness about the importance of reproductive rights and encourage people to lobby their MP to defend the abortion time limit.

Everyone can make a difference.

Here are some ideas of how you can get involved by organising an event or activity your university campus, trade unions branch, workplace, local community centre or in your home and have fun!

Everyone can make a difference:

· Encourage your friends and family to join Abortion Rights. The more members we have, the stronger our voice!
· Make a donation to Abortion Rights to support our campaign at this critical time.
· Help break the taboo, wear your pro-choice sticker throughout the week.
· Sign up to our Action Alerts on our website www.abortionrights.org.uk 

Lobby your MP

· Write a lobbying postcard to your MP or download the e-postcard from our website.
· Encourage your friends / family to write too.
· Arrange to meet your MP and let him/her know your concerns about the anti-choice campaign and the importance to defend the time limit.

Film screening

Showing a film can be a powerful medium and can have a lasting impact on the audience. It will provide first hand information and generate support for an issue.

You can borrow one of the following films:
· Vera Drake (Mike Leigh, GB, 2004). The film is set in 1950’s London, where Vera, a working-class mother, performs illegal abortions.
· The last abortion clinic in Mississippi (Frontline, US, 2005) is a documentary about the current situation in the US. The film can also be downloaded on line: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/clinic/view/.
· Speak Out: I had an abortion (Jennifer Baumgardner & Gillian Aldrich, US, 2004) documents the stories of 11 women ranging in age from 21 to 85. The film cuts across race, religion, region, class, sexuality, and politics–demonstrating that abortion affects all women.

Information stall

We have a variety of materials available for stalls: campaign postcards, leaflets, booklets, briefing papers, stickers and balloons.

Why not make a visible letterbox out of an old shoe or cardboard box and encourage supporters to post their lobbying postcard straight away. You can then either drop them off at your MPs local party office or return them to Abortion Rights’ office to be sent off.

Speaker meeting

Invite a pro-choice speaker to address your trade or student union or women’s group and get updated on the latest situation in the UK and across the world. Ask participants for a small donation to contribute towards the campaign.

Awareness raising stunt

· Make a big pro-choice banner and make some noise, use knitting needles and coat hangers as reminders of devastation caused by back-street abortion.
· Make a huge postcard based on Abortion Rights lobbying postcard to present to your MP.

Or anything you think will attract maximum attention. Remember to take pictures.

Contact your local press

Local newspapers or radio stations love covering new initiatives. Contact them with a story about your event / activity or about the current situation – use the 39th anniversary of the Abortion Act, 27 October 1967, as a media hook. A sample press release/letter will be available on our website.

And remember whatever you do keep in touch: We are planning more initiatives in the months to come, including a public meeting, lobby of parliament and Speak Out events.

Action packs containing a briefing on the issue, lobbying postcards, leaflets, stickers and balloons can be ordered by e-mailing us at choice@abortionrights.org.uk or calling the office on 020 7923 9792. Visit www.abortionrights.org.uk for further details about the week.

It’s time for the pro-choice majority was heard!

Thank you for you support.

Anne Quesney