08 May 2012 Tips to ensure a productive visit with your MP
Helpful tips to ensure a productive visit with your MP!
You want to do something, but the thought of presenting the pro-life position to your Member of Parliament seems too daunting. That, and you don’t feel qualified or prepared. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when taking on something different, and that’s why we want to help.
The good news is you don’t have to be an expert in pro-life apologetics to voice your concerns to your MP. After reviewing the simple talking points below, you’ll feel much more confident and better- equipped to walk into your MP’s office and engage them in a fruitful discussion.
1. Always be respectful. Your demeanour and language are important, and you should show the proper respect due an elected official. Your MP may well be on the opposite end of the abortion spectrum, and the last thing you want is the message you’re bringing to be discredited by how it’s delivered.
2. Most often, one of the office assistants will welcome you and offer you a drink of water or coffee. When MP’s come back to their riding from Ottawa, they are busy meeting with their constituents, and most likely you will have to wait a moment or two before he/she comes out to greet you.
3. Even though you are a little intimidated, the temptation, once you’re engaged, will be to ramble on about every aspect of the abortion issue. Don’t do it! Your MP will not benefit from this at all. You need to be concise and direct with him/her. We suggest the following talking points. You may use all 3, but don’t feel you have to. Even if you focus on only one of them, that’s perfectly fine and your visit with have been beneficial.
Talking Point #1
Canada is the only democracy in the world without legislation protecting children in the womb. A typical conversation can start like this: “Mr. (name of MP), I would like to share a concern with you. It has come to my attention that Canada is the only democracy without laws protecting children in the womb. Every other country has laws that grant legal protection to pre-born children. Why not Canada?”
There are a wide variety of answers you may receive. He/she may be sympathetic to your concern. You can then ask how you can assist them in bringing forward legislation. Conceivably, there are MP’s who will not share your perspective. It’s important that you continue to press them as to why Canada doesn’t recognize, at any point in the pregnancy, the rights of the pre-born child. For more information, click here.
Talking Point #2
In the Morgentaler decision, the Supreme Court of Canada did not give women a ‘right’ to abortion. In fact, they encouraged Parliament to enact legislation that protected the rights of the foetus at some point during the pregnancy. Here’s an idea of how to start with this one: “Mrs. (name of MP), in the Morgentaler decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the existing abortion laws were unconstitutional on procedural grounds, such as unequal access to hospitals performing abortions and therapeutic abortion committees. The Court did not rule that women have a right to abortion. In their ruling they didn’t make a new law because they knew that was the task of Parliament. It has almost been 25 years since that ruling, when can we expect Parliament to bring in a new law that protects the rights of the foetus?” For more information, click here.
Talking Point #3
The majority of Canadians want some legal protection for children in the womb. Most Canadians find it morally unacceptable that abortion can be committed in the 3rd trimester, or based on the sex of the child in the womb. Your MP may not be aware that this is the case. Here are a few polling numbers for you to bring to his/her attention. According to several Abacus Data polls taken in 2011, the majority of Canadians (60%) believe that the life of the unborn should be protected at some point during the pregnancy. Also, an Environics poll in 2011, found that when asked specifically when they’d like to see abortion illegal, 77% of respondents answered with, “in the last three months.” As for sex-selective abortions, a 2011 Abacus Data poll indicated that 92% of Canadians think it should be illegal. Impress upon your MP that with these kind of numbers, this issue, while difficult to discuss, would certainly not be detrimental to their political future. For more information, click here.