As a family medicine resident, advocacy work is a critical component of my education and future career. It is my strong belief that we have a responsibility, as clinicians, to use our privilege to fight for our patients – both inside and outside of the exam room.
UnRestrict Minnesota’s Lobby Day is a perfect opportunity for us to learn more about building relationships with legislators and promote reproductive justice legislation in our state. We have seen horrifying laws proposed in other states that target bodily autonomy – especially restrictions on abortion care and hateful attacks on LGBTQ youth. There are already similar bills in the pipeline in our state attempting to strip these rights away.
Lobby Day allows us to use our passion and experiences as clinicians, learners, and community members to stand together against covert legislation that puts the rights of Minnesotans in jeopardy. Specifically, we will have the opportunity to support the Patients’ Right to Know Act which aims to ensure that the information we share with patients remains medically accurate, evidence-based, and free from biased interference from lawmakers. This opportunity also gives us the ability to advocate for LGBTQ youth in Minnesota and their families, and ensure that they are able to access the care and support they need without surveillance and interference from politicians.
No matter what our previous experiences have been in advocacy work and activism, UnRestrict Minnesota and its partner organizations provide the tools, background information, and talking points for all of us to be effective leaders in promoting health equity and equal rights. The Lobby Day trainings also give us the opportunity to meet our neighbors to work toward common goals promoting social justice in our districts. Hopefully, I will be able to stand in solidarity with many of you (virtually) on March 25th as we work toward removing barriers to care and access to critical services in our state.
The rights of Minnesotans – especially our most vulnerable communities – will not be chipped away on our watch.