Posted on October 21, 2019
Not sure that contacting your legislators will matter? Unsure of how to make contact in an effective way?
Every single email, letter, phone call or personal visit matters immensely, and it’s pretty simple and easy to do.
Why does it matter? And why is it important to take action now?
Our legislators (senators and representatives) are paid to represent the interests of ALL the people that are in their area of service. Even if you didn’t vote for them or they don’t share your same views, they are still responsible for listening to and representing you and your views.
When it comes to vote on a specific issue, they will look back on all their in-person meetings, phone calls, written letters, and emails to decide how best to represent the views held by you and other constituents.
As you can imagine, all the support and the right kind of productive and respectful pressure, can and will weigh heavily on their hearts and minds. And, it is very important to get your message to your legislators before a vote on the issue needs to be taken.
If we as Christians and the Church stay radio silent, we are allowing the pro-death culture to take greater hold impacting critical, life issues that God calls us to stand up for.
Right now, two specific issues in Iowa call for our life-affirming voice.
Stopping Abortion through the Life Amendment
The Iowa Supreme court ruled that our state’s constitution gives women the right to have an abortion. This ruling will nullify all previous restrictions on abortion and make Iowa a “Mecca” for abortion in the Midwest. An amendment declaring the constitution DOES NOT guarantee such a right is the ONLY way to reverse this. It would need to be passed in two General Assemblies and then by a vote of the people, a 3 to 4-year process. The process begins in the 2020 legislative session.
Stopping Physician Assisted Suicide
A bill to legalize Physician Assisted Suicide waits for a shift in the legislature so it can be brought to the floor. You may better recognize Physician Assisted Suicide by more palatable names like “Death with Dignity” and “Compassionate Choices.” These names are carefully crafted and marketed to win over the public, including Christians.
Aside from promoting death as the answer to life’s problems, which creates an incredibly gruesome domino effect on the rate of suicides in general, it puts vulnerable subsets of the population in even more danger. Allowing “death by doctors” presents a convenient and cheap answer for “dealing” with those with disabilities, mental health illness, Alzheimer’s or other dementia, and the elderly.
To keep this from happening and to assure a life amendment is passed, maintaining a life-affirming legislature in the 2020 elections is critical. We must work to make Iowa a place where life at all stages and in all conditions is valued and protected.
Jesus calls us to influence our culture. He tells us we are the light of His truth in this dark world (Matthew 5:14) and that we are to be like salt preserving this truth and defending it (Matthew 5:13). Our Christian responsibility as citizens is to be a voice for God’s truth in the ears of those who represent us.
Will you join us and be a voice for life by contacting your legislators today?
Visit the Iowa Legislature website. We recommend searching by your home address for the most accurate results. You should see photos of your legislators and their name to the right of the photo. Click on their name and it will bring up their contact information.
It may be helpful to do a bit of internet research to see where your legislators stand on life issues. Always make sure to first identify yourself as a constituent. If they have been in support of life issues, plan a supportive message that thanks them for standing up for all life, that shares your value of life views, and that encourages them to stay strong and continue voting to protect life at all stages, ages and conditions. Don’t forget to let them know that you will be praying for them.
If they have not voted in support of life issues, or have gone both ways. Thank them for their service. Present your value of life views in a professional and respectful manner. Encourage them to make Iowa a place where all life at all stages, ages and conditions is both valued and protected. Share your concern that abortion hurts women and that killing another human being (the unborn baby) is not a right now, nor should it ever be. Share your concern that doctor assisted suicide puts already vulnerable people in even greater risk of harm – those who are disabled, those with mental health issues, those with diseases like Alzheimer’s, and those that are elderly to name a few. Encourage them to look deep in their hearts and let them know that you will be praying for them to stand up and defend all life when it comes to voting on these issues.
Face-to-face meeting is the most effective and direct way to communicate. You can set up a meeting by calling to request and set up an appointment. Let them know your name and the topic you wish to address. Confirm your visit by phone the day before. Make sure you are prepared to talk briefly and clearly about specific issues. You may have 15 minutes or only 5 minutes, so be prepared for both. The day of, be clear, positive and constructive. Ask them to state their position. Leave a written summary (one page) with your name, address and phone number. Follow the visit with a prompt thank you note. If unable to meet with your legislator, you may be able to meet with a staff assistant instead.
Writing and mailing a letter is another effective method. Make sure to include your name and address in the body of the letter and keep it to one page at most. If you are writing to address specific legislation, make sure to state the bill name and number.
Making a phone call can help legislators gauge the views of their constituents. State your name and address with the staffer who answers the phone. Share the issues you wish to address briefly and clearly. Ask where the senator/representative stand on the issue. Ask the name of the person assisting you and thank her/him by name.
Writing an email letter is okay too, however, it may not be as effective as one of the methods above.
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