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International Safe Abortion Day 2020 Repeal Helms: Social Media Toolkit

Overview and Details:

Title of Legislation: Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act

Date of Twitter Storm: Monday, September 28th

Time: 10AM EDT

Handles:

Sponsor:

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): @janschakowsky

Original cosponsors

  1. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY): @NitaLowey
  2. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA): @RepBarbaraLee
  3. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA): @RepSpeier
  4. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA): @AyannaPressley
  5. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO): @RepDianaDeGette
  6. Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA): @NormaJTorres

Key Messages and Talking Points:

Health Equity

The Helms amendment puts reproductive freedom out of reach for millions, imposing this unjust policy on communities around the world. It forces providers to distinguish between abortion and all other health services, meaning only those with means are able to access essential abortion care.

Everyone — including people living in low-to-middle-income countries — has a right to the safety and dignity of basic health care that includes comprehensive reproductive health care. No matter where they live, everyone should have access to preventative screenings, testing and care, including access to safe abortion and contraception when they need it and with self-determination and respect.

U.S. policies around the world should reflect values of respect, freedom and equality. No matter where someone lives, they should have the freedom and opportunity to control their lives at the most basic level — including the decision about whether or when to become a parent.

The Helms amendment undermines U.S. efforts to improve maternal health and mortality by denying access to abortion services. Restricting access to abortion does not decrease the rate of abortion; rather, it makes it less safe, leading to countless injuries and preventable deaths. Repealing the Helms amendment will save lives and align U.S. foreign policy with its stated objectives.

Deaths from unsafe abortion are highest in Africa, which receives the largest percentage of U.S. foreign assistance.

COVID-19

In times of crisis, we know that women and girls are often disproportionately affected. During the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems will be overwhelmed by the emergency response, and sexual and reproductive health may be inaccessible.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that health systems ensure that abortion care is recognized as an essential health care service. Repealing the Helms amendment will expand communities’ reproductive health care options and ensure more people can access essential abortion care.

Abortion care is time sensitive and essential health care that cannot be significantly delayed without profound consequences on women’s health and well-being. Denying or delaying abortion care places an immediate burden on patients, their families and the health system.

Racial Justice

Racial justice is a reproductive justice issue. Historically and globally, Black and Brown communities have been denied both due to colonialism, white supremacy and ideological policies like the Helms amendment.

The Helms amendment is a racist, white supremacist, neocolonial policy that facilitates the U.S. government control over health care access and bodily autonomy of Black and Brown people around the world. The Helms amendment is a policy rooted in racism and it must fall in order for any vision of healthy equity and reproductive justice to be realized.

Hashtags:

Primary:

  1. #RepealHelms
  2. #AbortionIsEssential

Secondary:

  1. #HelmsHurts
  2. #EndHelms
  3. #InternationalSafeAbortionDay
  4. #IManageMyAbortion

Social Media Posts:

International Safe Abortion Day

On #InternationalSafeAbortionDay, it is time to set aside laws and policies that restrict access to safe abortion. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

#AbortionIsHealthCare and cannot be significantly delayed without profound consequences on women’s health and well-being. Denying or delaying abortion care places an immediate burden on patients, their families and the health system. #IManageMyAbortion www.repealhelms.org

Helms History

The Helms amendment is named after the late Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), who leaves a legacy of sexism, racism and homophobia. The lingering effect is a policy that disproportionately targets the most vulnerable population — women and girls. #HelmsHurts www.repealhelms.org

General Helms Messaging

Annually, there are more than 35 million unsafe abortions worldwide that lead to millions of injuries and tens of thousands of preventable maternal deaths. The Helms amendment exacerbates this crisis. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Thank you @RepSchakowsky @NitaLowey @RepDianaDeGette @RepSpeier @RepBarbaraLee @AyannaPressley @NormaJTorres for moving to repeal this unjust policy that has harmed communities around the world. Everyone deserves the safety and dignity of basic health care. #RepealHelms

It’s #InternationalSafeAbortionDay and we want to thank our #SRHR leaders, the original cosponsors of the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act & ALL of the other cosponsors who are putting reproductive freedom back in the hands of millions. #RepealHelms https://bit.ly/301H4qu

Let’s keep the momentum going! Check out who has supported the move to #RepealHelms and thank them for supporting global #SRHR. https://bit.ly/301H4qu #InternationalSafeAbortionDay #HelmsHurts

In just 2 months, the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act has secured over 100 cosponsors! A huge thank you to this amazing group of #SRHR Champions for supporting this critical legislation to #RepealHelms! https://bit.ly/301H4qu #InternationalSafeAbortionDay #HelmsHurts

Health Equity

The Helms amendment puts reproductive freedom out of reach for millions of people around the 🌍 & forces providers to distinguish between abortion & all other health services, meaning only those with means can access essential abortion care. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Restricting access to abortion does not decrease the rate of abortion; rather, it makes it less safe, leading to countless injuries and preventable deaths. It is time for it to go. #EndHelms www.repealhelms.org

COVID-19

In times of crisis, women and girls are disproportionately affected. During #COVID19, it’s critical that abortion is recognized as an essential health care service. Repealing the Helms amendment will expand reproductive health care options. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Racial Justice

The Helms amendment facilitates U.S. control over the health care & bodily autonomy of Black & Brown people around the 🌍. It is a policy rooted in racism & it must fall in order for any vision of health equity & repro justice to be realized. #RepealHelms www.repealhelms.org

Racial justice is a reproductive justice issue. Historically and globally, Black and Brown communities have been denied both due to colonialism, white supremacy and ideological policies like the Helms amendment. www.repealhelms.org

Graphics/Images/Shareables:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Additional Resources and Information:

Publications:

  1. The Ins and Outs of U.S. Abortion-related Restrictions Abroad and at Home (PAI)
  2. Helms Amendment and the Global Gag Rule — What’s the Difference? (PAI)
  3. Time Is Up for the Helms Amendment (PAI)
  4. Op-ed: It's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms (CHANGE & Ipas)
  5. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Index (CHANGE)
  6. New Polling Shows Majority of Voters Favor Overturning Helms. (downloadable PDF) (Ipas)
  7. Key Messages on the Harms of the Helms Amendment and the Case for Repeal (downloadable PDF) (Ipas)
  8. The Harmful Impact of the Helms Amendment on Women in Kenya (downloadable PDF) (Ipas)
  9. Focus on Nepal: The Harmful Impact of the Helms Amendment on People Seeking Abortion Care (Ipas)

Coalition Partners:

  1. Advocates for Youth: @AdvocatesTweets
  2. American Jewish World Service: @ajws
  3. Catholics for Choice: @Catholic4Choice
  4. Center for Reproductive Rights: @ReproRights
  5. CHANGE: @SRHRforAll
  6. Guttmacher: @Guttmacher
  7. ICRW: @ICRW
  8. Ipas: @IpasOrg
  9. IWHC: @IntlWomen
  10. NARAL: @NARAL
  11. PAI: @pai_org
  12. Population Connection Action Fund: @popconnect
  13. Population Institute: @PopInstitute
  14. PPFA: @ppglobe, @ppact

Questions or Concerns Regarding the Toolkit?

Contact Katie Unthank, Communications Manager, CHANGE: kunthank@SRHRforAll.org

Created By
Katie Unthank (CHANGE)
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