How can we approach lawmakers about international maternal health
and family planning?
One way to influence elected representatives is by having members of the social action/social justice committee join an advocacy organization’s action center. Many of the organizations listed have action centers that provide form letters and will help congregants directly contact representatives. Links to action alerts, petitions and upcoming events can also be passed on to the congregation through the newsletter, bulletin board, or special tabling.
Use the congregational newsletter, website and bulletin board to encourage congregants to contact their elected leaders on issues of international sexual and reproductive health.
- Members of Congress generally only take calls and respond to correspondence from their own constituents. Write them expressing your support for U.S. aid for international family planning and maternal health services.
- To find the e-mails, phone numbers, and address of your U.S. Senators and Representative, click here.
- For a sample letter to Congress, click here.
- U.S. Senators and Representatives that belong to a committee focusing on international issues may hold particular sway on funding for international women’s health programs. Check to see if the congregation’s Senators or Representative sit on any of the following committees and subcommittees:
- United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
- United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs
- United States House Committee on Appropriations
Take the time to meet with the Congress members and Senators who represent the majority of people in the congregation. Invite them or members of their staff to a meeting at the congregation.
In all communications, let elected leaders know that you are a person of faith. For example, you may want to include the following statement in your correspondence:
“As a person of faith, I am responding to the crisis of maternal mortality worldwide. My religious tradition affirms that life is sacred; it celebrates the divinely bestowed blessings of generating life and assuring that life can be sustained and nurtured. I am committed to supporting efforts to achieve spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being for all, including their reproductive and sexual health.”