REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE WORKSHOP
Saturday, March 19, 2016
1:00 – 2:30 PM
Unitarian Society of Germantown
WHAT: “What does Reproductive Justice and UUPLAN have to do with you?” Let’s advocate and institute change by using our liberal religious voices.
WHO: Co-chairs of the UUPLAN Reproductive Justice Team Judy Wilson (Mainline Unitarian Church, Devon) and Liz Perkins (First Unitarian Church, Pittsburgh)
WHY: As the nation veers steadily to the right, it is more important than ever that Unitarian Universalists not only add their voices to the public conversation, but champion our principles endorsing the inherent worth and dignity of every individual as well as justice, compassion and equity in human relations.
Forty three years ago the Supreme Court,in the case Roe v Wade, ruled that abortion was legal in the United States. Since that time there have been 1,074 restrictions, 288 just since 2010. These regulations have affected access and affordability for not only abortions but also basic healthcare for many. During that same time food stamp programs have been dismantled, the minimum wage has remained stagnant, voting rights have been threatened and systemic racism has become more recognized in our communities and prison system.
As we watch the marginalized and poor among us suffer from continuing legislation that hurts them, we cannot stand silently by. Being informed is not enough. We must develop relationships with our legislators and let them hear our liberal religious voice .
This workshop introduced the principles of Reproductive Justice as endorsed by UUPLAN (Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network) and showed participants simple and effective ways to communicate with their elected officials on a variety off issues, not solely reproductive justice.
WHAT CAN I DO?
- Coffee Hour “Lobbying” – Go to www.legis.state.pa.us and print out the two bills, HB 1176 and HB 1100 (Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Workers and Nursing Mothers). Also print out the first page of the Committee that both bills are in, which includes a photo of committee chairwoman Rep. Mauree Gingrich. Put these in three separate plastic sleeve protectors. Then write the following script in large print and put it in a plastic sleeve protector: ” Hi, my name is ——— and I’m calling from —— Unitarian Church in ———-. My church is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network. We represent the 6,000 Unitarians living in the state of Pennsylvania. I am urging Representative Gingrich to support HB 1176 and HB 1100 and to pass them without amendments. I feel these are important bills that are good for mothers, families, and business. Thank you.” Then go up to people at coffee hour with your cell phone and ask them to do this. Have Rep. Gingrich’s telephone number already in your phone, so all they had to do is to make the call and read the script. If you call on Sunday, the calls will be taken by the answering machine in Rep. Gingrich’s office. Thus people don’t even have to talk to a live person! When Rep. Gingrich’s staffers come in to the office on Monday morning, they have to listen to the messages and tally them up. Every call counts.
- Send letter to Rep Mauree Gingrich – print off copies of the Gingrich letter. Then, after Sunday’s service, ask your congregation members to sign and mail the letters to:
Rep. Mauree Gingrich: firstname.lastname@example.org
and her district address is 1044 E. Main Street, Palmyra, PA 17078
- Send letter to your State Senator – print off copies of the Senator letter. Find your legislator: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/. Then, after Sunday’s service, ask your congregation members to sign and mail the letters to their Senator.