Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day 2021
Reproductive freedom is under attack across the country and in our state. As we’ve seen, anti-abortion extremists are working everywhere to severely limit reproductive freedom and outright ban abortion—and it’s not just happening in places like Alabama and Georgia, it’s happening here in Minnesota too.
Since 1995, more than 400 anti-abortion bills have been introduced in the Minnesota State Legislature, and many of them have passed. This year is no different. Anti-abortion legislators in Minnesota have already introduced two bills to ban abortion.
We can’t let these extreme anti-abortion bills gain traction. We need to pass legislation that ensures Minnesotans have full access to abortion care, a right that is protected by the Minnesota Constitution and supported by ⅔ of Minnesota voters.
That’s why UnRestrict Minnesota, a multi-racial and cross-sector coalition of more than two dozen organizations working to protect and expand access to abortion care, and all reproductive healthcare, is hosting a virtual Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day 2021.
We’re done letting politicians play politics with our reproductive care. By coming together on Lobby Day, we can make sure legislators know how much support there is for reproductive freedom legislation—including the Patients’ Right to Know Act, which would establish a right for healthcare providers to give evidence-based information to their patients. This would repeal current laws that require healthcare providers to give medically irrelevant, and sometimes inaccurate, information to patients before providing abortion care.
Join us virtually on Zoom on Friday, March 12 to advocate for every Minnesotan’s right to make healthy decisions about if and when to become a parent.
We’re planning a series of events throughout the day; attendees are welcome to join for as many as they would like! All events will be held virtually on the Zoom video platform.
**We are working to schedule meetings with as many legislators as possible. To accommodate legislators’ busy schedules, lobby meetings will be scheduled throughout the day and may occur during one of the other scheduled events. If we are able to schedule a meeting with your legislator(s), we will email you with more details.**
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Coffee Hour
While programming won’t officially begin until 10:00 AM, we invite you to join us early to meet other participants and listen to music as we get ready for lobby day! Bring your favorite cup of coffee or tea!
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Welcome with Renee Bracey Sherman
We’ll kick off the day with speakers from the UnRestrict Minnesota coalition. Leaders of the campaign will talk about the meaning of reproductive justice, outline our legislative agenda, give details about our signature bill: The Patients’ Right to Know Act, and provide tips on how to effectively lobby your legislators. The session will end with remarks from our keynote speaker Renee Bracey Sherman, an award winning reproductive justice activist and writer!
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Contacting Your Legislator
During this session, campaign organizers will walk you through how to contact your legislator. We will share sample emails that you can customize and send to your legislator urging them to support our reproductive freedom legislative agenda, including signing on to be a co-author of the Patients’ Right To Know Act. We will also discuss strategies for sharing your personal story with legislators, because we know that reproductive freedom and abortion access touches many people’s lives uniquely, and it is important for lawmakers to hear these different stories and perspectives.
**If possible, we will schedule meetings with legislators at the end of this session. Legislators that aren’t available at this time will be scheduled during other parts of the day. If we are able to schedule a meeting with your legislator, we will email you with more details!**
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Pro-Reproductive Freedom Legislator Panel
Join us for a panel discussion with pro-reproductive freedom legislators. Legislators will discuss why reproductive freedom is important to them, what their work looks like at the legislature (especially given COVID-19), and how constituents can support them in their work for reproductive freedom.
4:30 – 5:30 PM: Happy Hour with Lizz Winstead
To celebrate the end of Lobby Day, Minnesota’s own Lizz Winstead, founder of Abortion Access Front, co-creator of The Daily Show, and all-around badass, will join us for a virtual happy hour. We’ll share recipes for our signature cocktail and mocktails, the Reproductive Freedom Fizz and Reproductive Justice Juice, ahead of time!