Make a difference in national, state, and local government.
1. Find out who the pro-life candidates are. You can easily research a candidate’s stance on abortion online. (One website is www.ontheissues.org.) In addition, many states’ right-to-life groups publish lists of candidates that they endorse.
2. Contact the candidates’ campaigns and parties to find out how you can help. Most candidates have campaign managers who are eager to recruit students. Contact both the candidate and their party—state and local political party offices are always looking for volunteers to help with mailings and phone banking for their candidates. You may be able to organize a group to go together and volunteer. This can be a good way to network with other pro-life student groups in your area. You can also sponsor a rally, barbecue, lecture, debate, or other event and invite the pro-life candidate to come speak. (See if any campus political groups are willing to co-sponsor the event with you—if the candidate is from their party, they may already have plans to host him or her.)
3. Make sure that pro-lifers are registered to vote! Distribute voter registration forms at your meetings and remind members to procure an absentee ballot or vote early if they are unable to vote in their area on Election Day. You can get the registration form at http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx. Have your group members survey students in their dorms and ask them if they are pro-life. If they are, have them register to vote and compile their names in a database. Then call all of your group’s members on Election Day and remind them to vote for the pro-life candidates.
4. Track all abortion/life legislation. Join national and state pro-life email lists and subscribe to pro-life publications to stay informed about current abortion legislation. If pro-life legislation is introduced in your state, contact all the representatives in your state’s House or Senate and ask them to vote in favor of the bill. If pro-choice legislation is introduced, contact all the representatives and ask them to vote against it. Do the same at the national level. Publicize the legislation widely within your group and ask all of your members to contact their representatives (you can find the contact information on your state’s House or Senate websites). Representatives are concerned about constituent support and re-election, so make sure to tell your representative that you vote in their district. One easy way to contact legislators is to draft an email and then copy and paste it to each representative. However when an important vote is imminent, call instead of emailing. Emails are too easy to delete or ignore. Another very effective tool is direct lobbying. Contact your legislator and go through the required steps to meet him or her in a professional setting to share your concerns. Students can be excellent lobbyists.
5. Hold petition drives. Even if pro-life legislation is not currently being considered in your state, you can encourage your legislators to address the issue. Write up a pro-life petition explaining your stance and gather signatures on campus and in your community. Forward this to your state’s representatives to show them that this is what their constituents want.
© Students for Life of America 2007