How you communicate about your issue and the changes you want to see happen will be critical in preventing or reducing the risk of being challenged by opposition.
In addition to the tips and guidance provided in Tutorial 4, there are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself.
- Practice your asks and messages with supportive friends and colleagues. Role playing challenging conversations about abortion with supportive people can prepare you for when they happen in real life.
- Emphasise your role as an HCP and provide the clinical perspective in relation to abortion need and safety – take the emotional element out of the messages when you need to and bust myths and misconceptions about medical risks related to abortion.
- Have key facts and figures on hand to challenge claims about the safety of medical or surgical abortion.
- Know who you are talking to and try to find out their position on abortion prior to your engagement with them.
- Understand and be comfortable with your own position. It is important to consider your own personal beliefs and how they intersect with professional responsibilities to ensure the provision of SA/PAC. If you have access to VCAT workshops, these can be a great tool.
- Access useful sources, for example Ipas’ Ten Facts About Abortion paper which provides very clear arguments to counter some of the dominant arguments that anti-choice groups use.
- Seek support from allies. For example:
- Catholics for Choice:this is a group that serves as “a voice for Catholics who believe that the Catholic tradition supports individuals’ moral and legal right to follow their consciences in matters of sexuality and reproductive health”. Its website has a lot of useful resources.
- Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice: for more than 40 years, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) has been the sole organisation bringing interfaith and multiracial voices to reproductive health, rights and justice issues. Its website has perspectives from all major faiths.