Want a great way to participate in your state’s pro-life movement? Attend your state’s Pro-Life Lobby Day! Or, if there isn’t one planned but something important is happening, plan your own. This is a fantastic way to make a presence as the Pro-Life Generation and show your state that we stand for LIFE.
Lobby days are when people visit the state capitol, rally for their cause, and/or visit the specific offices of legislators who are important for either supporting pro-life legislation or opposing pro-abortion legislation.
Other lobbying is also critical to the success of any social movement. It consists not only of going directly to your legislators, but also writing, telephoning, and meeting them outside the legislative atmosphere.
First and foremost, you must generate enthusiasm for your bill. Plan to have a large lobbying day at your state capitol and invite hundreds of pro-life students to meet with their representatives and encourage them to pass pro-life legislation.
The more people you have, the more positive a response you will receive. When lobbying, educate historically pro-life legislators on the bill, thank them for their support in the past, and ask for their support in the future. Focus your time on those swing legislators who could vote either way. Remember, the key to lobbying is to educate your legislators!
To find out who your national and state legislators are, click here.
SFLA Resources to Request
- Pro-life topic cards related to the legislation.
- Pro-Life Gen t-shirts.
- SFLA’s Public Policy Training (or other relevant topic).
- If space/regulations allow, request a relevant SFLA display.
- Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator by emailing [yourstate]@studentsforlife.org to help research details of the legislation you’re considering.
- Contact your local Right to Life chapter or State affiliate and other groups to discuss their position and what steps they’ve taken. Your Regional Coordinator will most likely already have a working relationship with them and can help with this as well.
- Find your representative’s contact info online and email to try to set up an official meeting. If they do not respond, or if they decline the meeting, you can still show up and knock on their door to talk with a staffer. Your persistence and won’t-take-no-for-an-answer attitude will certainly be noted. But, ideally, a scheduled meeting will be more productive.
- Lobby days only need a few people to be successful, but a large group can get more attention and have a great visual impact showing how many people truly care enough to go to a representative’s office in person.
- Not everyone has to speak, but for those who are, make sure it is clear who is speaking and what points each person is covering. It is not as effective if everyone repeats the same information.
- Schedule an SFLA Public Policy Training with all volunteers.
Day of the event:
- If you have an appointment, be on time. If they did not respond, you can still walk up to their office and knock or walk in to ask to speak with someone. In that case, you may end up speaking with a Staffer, but they usually take notes and present later to the representative.
- Your voice matters! Be honest and tell them how you feel about life-saving legislation, pro-life values, and why the bill you’re lobbying for is so important.
- Be personable. Presenting facts and statistics can be important to demonstrate your careful research, but you should also connect personally with your legislator. They represent the people, so if you have a personal connection or a friend with experience related to the bill, share a concise story to show how this impacts the community.
- Be winsome. Your voice will stand out and be remembered if you’re not “one of the many” presenting negative or condescending comments. Use words that can bridge gaps with representatives who are typically pro-choice, and make sure to THANK representatives who have voted pro-life in the past.
- Take lots of pictures! Ask if the representative will pose for a picture with the group and a Students for Life sign.
After the event:
- Follow up! Thank all the volunteers and representatives for their time. Post pictures to social media. If the representatives use social media, you can tag them thanking them for the meeting or sharing the pictures.
Questions? Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator at [yourstate]@studentsforlife.org for more helpful information.