In person or via Zoom meeting
The most effective way to build a relationship is face-to-face. Don’t be intimidated at the thought of talking to your local MP, MLA, or MPP in person! He or she is there to listen to people in the riding, regardless of whether you are in agreement. Not too many people make the effort to visit their local representative in person, so you can be assured that your visit will make an impact.
Be prepared for your meetings so you can be concise and direct. Focus on one or two points about the need for pro-life laws, and let them know how much this issue matters to you. Listen attentively to their responses and use them to continue the discussion or ask if you can get back to them (perhaps by phone or email) when you’ve had time to think about your response. Never feel pressured to answer immediately, and always maintain a tone that shows the respect due to an elected official.
Email is great for regular, quick engagement. Send an email when you want to comment on a particular issue, but also send a brief note of encouragement or a holiday message at other times of the year to help establish a relationship. You can usually find your representative’s email easily by searching on their website or looking on the relevant government website. Then you can email your representative from your personal email address, or you can start with one of our handy SimpleMails that have the email addresses already available along with talking points you can personalize on various issues. It will take less than 20 minutes to send a note and make your voice heard!
A phone call can make a Member of Parliament or provincial legislature stop and take notice of an issue that concerns someone in their riding, so we strongly encourage taking the time to make a phone call about current issues!
Remember to maintain a respectful, calm tone and be prepared so you can clearly explain why you are calling. Follow up by sending an email within the next 24 hours, thanking him/her for taking the time to listen and summarizing your reason for reaching out.
Talking points for your phone call or meeting
You don’t have to be an expert pro-life speaker to voice your concerns to your representative! We have a few simple talking points to help you get started and hopefully make you feel confident in setting up a meeting to engage your representative in this important discussion.
A typical conversation can start like this: “Mr./Ms. (name of representative), I would like to share a concern with you. For years, Canada has been the only democracy in the world 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, or what they see as the most realistic next steps. Some will not share your perspective. Respectfully question them as to why Canada doesn’t recognize, at any point in the pregnancy, the rights of the pre-born child, and/or why they are unwilling to take a stand on this.
In the 1988 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 fetus at some point during the pregnancy.
You could start with “Mr./Ms. (name of representative), in the Morgentaler decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the existing abortion laws were unconstitutional on procedural grounds, such as arbitrary access to hospitals performing abortions and therapeutic abortion committees. The Court did not rule that women have a right to abortion, but there is confusion on that point. The Court didn’t make a new law because they knew that was the task of Parliament. It has almost been 30 years since that ruling – when can we expect Parliament to bring in a new law that protects the rights of the fetus, or why isn’t this being discussed more openly?” (For more information on the ruling, click here.)
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. Many who call themselves pro-choice are unaware of exactly what that means in Canada – that abortion is legal throughout all of pregnancy, for any reason.
Your representative may not be aware that this is the case. Here are a few Your representative 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 a 2020 DART and Maru/Blue poll, 70% of Canadians think abortion should be illegal in the last three months of pregnancy, 85% of Canadians believe sex selective abortion should be illegal, 93% of Canadians are in favor of a law requiring information regarding the risks of abortion be given to the mother, and 78% believe doctors should inform women of other alternatives. Impress upon your MP that, with these kind of numbers, championing this issue would certainly not be detrimental to their political future.
No matter how you reach out to your representative, the most important thing is that you DO reach out. Let them know you care, let them know you are open to discussion, and find a way to keep the conversation going about the need to protect pre-born children.