On Tuesday, 12 May I ran a Zoom training session on meeting with MPs. Our focus was opposing the current push for abortion-to-birth legislation in South Australia. Over 35 people attended.
A Senator and a South Australian Member of Parliament both spoke, providing invaluable information on the best way to communicate with MPs. Some key thoughts shared on the abortion-to-birth issue were:
- Make sure women are involved - many MPs will see this as primarily a women’s issue;
- Keep contacts short - honour MPs time;
- Be prepared but remember it is better to say something imperfectly than nothing very well.
I provided a short status update on the proposed abortion-to-birth legislation, the key positions the ACL is taking and summarised the best strategy for making our point with MPs using 4Cs:
Clarity: Be prepared. Have your points clear. Write them down so you can speak effectively on the day.
Courtesy: We speak as representatives of Christ so whatever the persuasion of the MP, always be courteous. Politeness persuades.
Confidence: An MP is your representative so do not be afraid to speak and tell them what you think on the issue - they want to hear from their constituents.
Communication: Let us know how you fared - we all need to learn together.
David D'Lima from Family Voice spoke on effective letter writing, including two great thoughts:
Thankfulness: Let your MP know you are grateful for something they have done.
Offers of help: Be prepared to assist your busy MP.
Two volunteers also spoke on how they have recently grown in confidence meeting and talking with MPs. The take-home message was, "If we can do it, you can too!"
The training concluded with an illuminating role-play session.
This learning was all possible in the comfort of our own homes.