Diocesan Pro-Life Directors, State Catholic Conference Directors

Greg Schleppenbach, Associate Director; Kat Talalas, Assistant Director for Pro-Life Communications; and Anne McGuire, Assistant Director for Education and Outreach

May 9, 2019

UPDATE: Diocesan/Parish Resource Kit for Grassroots Efforts to Pass Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 962)

Included below are several of our sample resources in Microsoft Word format to make it easier to use the text.

We recently asked you to urge your U.S. Representatives to sign the discharge petition and vote to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act ( H.R. 962 ). Your actions helped to get 199 Representatives to sign it, but we still need 19 more to reach the 218 needed to force a vote on the bill. To get 19 more signers, we are focusing particular grassroots efforts on 45 Democratic House Members (see target list below) who, for various reasons, have been identified as possibly persuadable to support the petition if enough of their constituents urge them to sign it. Diocesan pro-life directors and state Catholic conferences covering those 45 districts have already been contacted and provided with a resource kit to help them mobilize constituents.

For those of you with Representatives who have already signed the petition, ( see signers here ), there is no further action necessary. 

For those who have Representatives who haven’t signed but are not on the target list , we are pleased to provide you now with the same resource kit as those in the targeted districts. 

Even though your Representatives may be less persuadable to sign the petition than those who were targeted, there are still good reasons to ask constituents to urge them to do so. One reason is that this grassroots effort will help inform the public that sometimes babies survive abortion attempts, are born alive, and then are left alone to die or are even killed. And the public will also learn why better protections are needed and how the Born-Alive bill will provide those protections.

Those in the targeted districts were asked to target the weekends of May 25–26 and/or June 1–2 for action in your local parishes. We realize that you may need more time to prepare for a targeted weekend. If so, feel free to choose a later weekend but please try to pick a weekend prior to mid-July.

In addition to targeted weekend action in parishes, constituents are encouraged to schedule a meeting with their representative or attend a town hall meeting while he/she is in the home district. Congress will be on recess May 27–31, July 1–5, and August 5–31. The lobbying guide mentioned in the list below provides helpful tips on how to have a constructive meeting with your representative. 

The resource kit, included with this memo, includes the following:
Just so you know, a “discharge petition” is a tool that allows the House minority party (ie, the Republican party in this case) to force a vote on a bill that the majority party (ie, the Democratic party in this case) is trying to block. It requires 218 Members (a simple majority of the House) to sign it in order to proceed to a vote.
Getting Democratic Members to sign the discharge petition will be a challenge. It might take weeks of constituent pressure, because it is asking Democratic Members of Congress to disregard the wishes of their Democratic House leadership. But it IS possible. On April 2nd, House members began signing the discharge petition and, so far, 199 have signed it , including three Democrats Dan Lipinski (IL), Colin Peterson (MN), and Ben McAdams (UT). 
MANY people are upset with the idea of babies being left alone to die after surviving an attempted abortion. If we make enough noise, this bill has a chance of being voted on in the House, and eventually becoming law. 
We would be most grateful if you would use these resources to urge Catholics in your district to call, email, tweet, and/or visit their representative. 
We cannot thank you enough for any help you are able to provide toward this important effort. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any further assistance. We would also welcome any feedback on what resources are helpful (or not) in your efforts. And please pray with us that our united efforts bear good fruit!
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