This afternoon I attended at rally at the capitol for reproductive rights! It was exciting to see the crowd participating at the rally, now its time to get to work.
What's it going to take to stop anti-choice legislation at the capitol in 2010. That's the $10,000 question.
1. The session starts on February 1st...its an election year...so, be prepared for an onslaught of anti-choice legislation to fall out of the sky. No doubt politicians want to be either newly elected or re-elected by using "abortion" as their wedge issue. "I co-authored HB 1595." will be heard a billion times next year. There are approximately 29 Representatives and 11 Senators who co-authored this bill. Hmmm, I wonder if they're all running in 2010?
2. The legislative session starts on February 1st...our advocacy work started yesterday! The bill request deadline is December 11th, the bill introduction deadline is January 14th. So in the next few months, anti-choice legislators will be trying to figure out how to reintroduce the five to ten bills from HB 1595 and SB 1878(2007) and get those single bills out of committee. If you aren't ready to contact your legislator on Feb. 1st at 8 a.m. with a convincing argument why they should not support legislation that is harmful to women, you may not get another chance to make the argument. By 8:01 a.m. on February 1st, ten loud anti's have already called or emailed their opinions. The deal is done.
3. Check your email for legislative alerts daily, hourly, every second. This legislative body is not stupid, if they can sneak a bill in committee unannounced, it's no surprise to anyone but us. We have tried to attend committee meetings which were supposed to start at 4:30 p.m. but were moved up to 3:30 p.m. and they're already done for the day. Pretty sneaky sis.
4. Don't think your opinion doesn't count it does...if your talking to YOUR legislator. We've tried and tried to get in the door of one particular female senator but her assistant won't let us in the door because we aren't from her district.
5. DO recruit people daily to the cause. It will take MANY TO STOP ANY anti-choice legislation in 2010!
6. DO contact Governor Henry and let him know how much we need to protect women's health in Oklahoma! This is very important...if we can convince him he has the votes to sustain a veto, he may veto a bill. Then the work is having to come up with the votes.
7. This is Governor Henry's last year in office. This would be the time to not hold back on the big V-E-T-O power. Also, this is Governor Henry's last year in office, it would be a good idea to know the gubernatorial candidates stand on reproductive health issues. Being a Democrat in this state does not mean they're pro-choice.
8. Roll up your sleeves this could get messy.