One of the best ways to support the fight for reproductive freedom is by starting conversation about abortion with the ones you love. When you have deep and meaningful discussions about your support for abortion, you’re able to to dispell misinformation, share personal stories, and break the silence surrounding abortion, encouraging others to think differently and more compassionatly about abortions and the people who have them.
Talking with peers and family is one step forward towards reproductive justice–here’s how you do it.
Focus on the “why,” not the winning
Starting a conversation about reproductive choice with those you love and disagree with can be challenging — especially if you’re both focused on “winning” or convincing your family members that they’re wrong. Instead, aim to have a conversation about why you fight for access to abortion to help your fam understand where you’re coming from and what drives your advocacy. Focus on sharing personal stories about advocating for choice — and sharing your vision for a future where reproductive freedom is a reality for all. These types of conversations help build trust and set the stage for future conversations.
Prioritize one-on-one conversations
Grab a slice of pecan pie and find a cozy spot for two. Prioritizing one-on-one conversation gives you the space to talk with your family member or friend directly and intimately. These kinds of conversations also allow you to ask each other questions, share personal stories, and listen to each other without distractions (like loud Uncle so-and-so jumping in every two minutes!).
Find common ground in reproductive justice
Rather than assuming someone doesn’t share the same values as you, use a reproductive justice framework to find common ground issues and connect abortion access to the full range of reproductive health care.
Start by talking about access to health care and the impact on pregnant people and their families, and how this connects to institutional discrimination and injustices such as job security, gun violence, and maternal mortality. You can use this framework to advocate for the full scope of reproductie health care, including access to birth control, paid maternity leave, and access to legal abortions. (Find more info about the reproductive justice framework here.)
Be a wealth of knowledge for those who ask
Knowing the facts about abortion access in your state can help you become a resource for family or friends in need of reproductive health care services. For example, did you know that on Missouri, having an abortion is actually safer than giving birth in a hospital? Missouri is one of the states with the highest rates of maternal mortality (death in childbirth), whereas abortions are one of the safest medical precedures and can help save a pregnant person’s life.
Find more facts about abortion access across all 50 states via the Guttmacher Institute, read up on the fight for abortion access on the NARAL Missouri website, and find your local Planned Parenthood here.
Knowing the facts about abortion care — and the impact of lack of access — can also help you combat anti-choice rhetoric and lies.
Extend an invitation
If you’ve had a productive one-on-one conversation with your family member or friend about abortion, consider extending an invitationt to an event or community group that would help continue the dialogue. Inviting your loved one to join you in a safe space can help them learn more about your advocacy for reproductive choice and create meaningful connections within the community. Try it out by inviting them to a community meeting, a Pro-Choice Power Hour hosted by NARAL Missouri, or a webinar about abortion access!