A number of people have expressed an ardent desire to join #DearJohn but asked for assistance with Twitter and I promised yesterday that I would post some resources for them. Deanna Zandt has written an introductory guide to the #DearJohn campaign, with links to step by step walkthroughs to help you sign in for the first time, start tweeting, and get your message to as many people as possible. Here are some things to keep in mind while tweeting, contacting your representative, or educating those in your community:
- HR3 makes permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for a legal medical procedure. As it stands, Hyde must be renewed each year.
- HR3 strong arms private insurance companies into removing coverage for abortions by instituting an anti-choice litmus test to discriminate against companies and programs that cover them.
- HR3 will make it harder for rape victims to seek justice, by creating a hierarchy of rape that is based on the worst elements of rape culture. HR3 is based on the idea that “good” people are only raped by strangers and “good” people are the only ones deserving of medical care.
- HR3 disempowers survivors economically, financially, legally, and socially. Under Hr3 a person who is drugged, raped, and forcibly impregnated could be left to withstand the ordeal of a rape trial while pregnant, going into the courtroom each day and facing their attacker, without the money or the resources to stop it.
- Rapists already thrive on power. Rapists already want to control their victims, want them to get and stay pregnant as a constant reminder of the attack or out of a need for control. It is unconscionable that elected politicians are empowering rapists and using the lives of survivors to prove their anti-choice credentials.
- The opening of the bill mentions that it provides “conscience protections” against tax dollars being spent on abortion. If your conscience tells you that abortion should be free, safe, and legal, it apparently isn’t worthy of protection. Every single person who co-sponsored this bill has sided with people who want to control other people’s bodies and call it morality.
We are all, to some degree, learning. Each protest, each act of activism is a chance to learn from others, to become stronger, better, faster, smarter. Activists learn by doing, by reaching out for resources, and by finding a need and creating ways to address it. Amadi has assembled a list of the co-sponsors of HR3, along with links to their Twitter accounts. We want you to get on Twitter, to call your representatives, to educate people within your own communities about HR3 and why we oppose it so vehemently.
When you do, do so within the bounds of acceptable discourse. Do NOT use violent or threatening language. The people who support this bill don’t want to withdraw it. They want to prove their “commitment to life” while conveniently forgetting the lives of survivors. They are no doubt scrutinizing every part of this protest looking for ways to discredit us, to spin their own complicity with rape culture, to make us all shut up and go away.
Don’t shut up. Don’t go away. Call your representative and tell them that for the reasons listed above and more, you insist that they take a stand for Reproductive Rights. Let them know that attacking Reproductive Rights, as they are doing in State Legislatures across the country, is a cynical attack on the most vulnerable among us, and we demand better.