Ever since November’s election, many of us have been asking the same question: what can I do? Physicians for Reproductive Health has always believed in the power of advocacy: we work to shift the conversation by sharing both our medical expertise and our personal stories with the public and with policymakers. Whether you are a medical provider or a patient, your voice is an invaluable tool for making a difference. So, how do you go about using it? We’ve collected some of the best resources for getting engaged in this political moment so that you can pick the ones that are right for you.*
Hold your elected officials accountable
Your national, state, and local elected officials are supposed to represent you, and they know that to stay in office they need their actions to match their constituents’ values. Whether it’s by writing an email or a letter, making a phone call, scheduling an office visit, or attending a town hall meeting or another public event, get into the habit of making your opinion known.
We’ve already seen constituent action play a big role in protecting the Affordable Care Act—keep this momentum going and tell your legislators to oppose reproductive health threats like Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court and bills to defund Planned Parenthood.
- First things first: find your legislators’ phone numbers with Call My Congress.
- Do something small, but meaningful, every week with My Civic Workout or 5 Calls.
- Join the Facebook page for Daily Action.
- Find out where and when your Members of Congress are having their next town hall meetings from Town Hall Project.
- Text 228466 for Daily Actions and/or 668366 for MoveOn’s daily action.
- Keep track of your state legislation on reproductive rights with Our States or Rewire’s legislative tracker.
Become a part of something bigger
We’re always stronger together than we are alone. Find a community, real or virtual, and start taking action as a group.
- Join an organization of other healthcare providers who are mobilizing to protect our vulnerable patients like National Physicians Alliance or Clinician Action.
- Beat the Tea Party at their own game as part of your local Indivisible group.
- Keep the spirit of unity from the Women’s March with 10 Actions 100 Days, actions ranging from postcards to strikes to getting educated on intersectional feminism.
Amplify your voice
Putting our own words out in the world connects us to others, and it can be the most effective means of changing minds. Whether it’s by blogging, getting published, or participating in storytelling, share your perspective.
- Share your stories to ensure reproductive health access and safety for all with Physicians for Reproductive Health’s storytelling project Voices of Courage.
- Contribute to the TEACH Blog, “Beyond Training: Pearls for Practice.” Be a voice for our community and share how you are continuing to provide despite the current adversity we face.
- Write letters to the editor or op-eds, in your local paper or in national publications with help from the OpEd Project.
* These resources are intended to help you find ways to take action on the issues you believe in. This list is not necessarily an endorsement of every policy position taken by the above organizations.
Today, the Senate will vote on a disapproval of a rule President Obama put into place last year that clarified the qualifications for funding Title X family planning services. The Obama Title X regulation reiterates longstanding Title X law, prohibiting Title X grant recipients from excluding highly qualified family planning providers, like Planned Parenthood. The House already voted on the measure, which, if it is approved by the Senate, is anticipated to be signed by President Trump. In response to the vote, Physicians for Reproductive Health Board Chair Dr. Willie Parker issued the following statement:
“Our patients who rely on Title X family planning funding—including people of color, people with low incomes, and those who live in rural areas—already face systemic barriers to getting health care. Voting to weaken access to high-quality providers, like Planned Parenthood, for these patients is pure discrimination. Title X clinics are often the only high-quality provider in my patients’ communities and the only way they can get well-woman exams, birth control, and cancer screenings—and this would eliminate more options for them to get quality care they need. The federal government’s priority should be improving all Americans’ access to health care. Opponents of Title X funding have called it an ‘entitlement’ program. They are right—women and families are entitled to the services covered by this rule, making it shameful to exclude any provider who can meet this need.”