Broke Organizer's Guide to Working for Reproductive Justice

Savvy, Simple and Cheap Ways to Energize Young Women in Your Community

Got more energy than cash? Fear not—just because you’re not rolling in it doesn’t mean you can’t bring it! The following are some suggestions for effective, budget-conscious activism:

The first step is to get your foot in the door and meet other activists. Start by volunteering or interning at a local pro-choice/ reproductive justice organization. If you don’t have a local pro-choice community group, try a local community-based organization that works on related issues such as poverty, healthcare or youth issues. And get your friends involved too. It will make your work more fun, and increase youth representation. For ideas about where to volunteer and a list of opportunities in your area, check out PEP's internship guide. Once the people at the organization know you, you can offer to help them better reach and energize young women for choice. Here are some ideas:

  • Conduct a survey among your peers to learn how much they know about reproductive health and rights. Submit the results of your survey to your organization’s newsletter to give a snapshot of what young people in your community know. Then work on what they don’t.
  • Coordinate a campaign in your neighborhood using PEP’s messages. Work with local organizations to advertise reproductive health services or a reproductive health program just for young people.
  • Launch a mentoring program for young people. In college? Mentor a high school student. In high school? Mentor a junior high school student. Teach other young people why reproductive rights are important to you.
  • Launch a youth advisory board with your friends. Have the board give input about your local organization’s programs and decisions and ensure that young women’s voices are heard.
  • Use your skills and interests to fundraise for your local choice group. Are you creative? Have a spoken word, poetry or hip-hop night as a benefit. Sell crafts at your school and donate the proceeds to your local reproductive justice or community-based organization. Like to party? Work with your friends to organize a party to raise money. Are you an athlete? Collect sponsorships for a marathon or other event.
  • Voice your opinion about anti-choice legislation: write a letter to your local newspaper or circulate a petition at your school.
  • Have a blog or website? Link to pro-choice and reproductive justice websites.
  • Set aside $5 a month to donate to a reproductive justice organization.
  • If you’re 18 or over, vote for pro-choice candidates.
  • Practice safer sex and family planning, and encourage your peers to do the same. Talk about it! Do you know where to go to get the morning after pill? Tell five friends.
  • If you are a member of a religious community, start a conversation about reproductive rights and spirituality.
  • Escort at a local clinic. Make a commitment with your friends to escort once a week or month. You will be working on the ‘front lines’ to help women get the services they need.
  • Use pro-choice physicians and pharmacists. Survey your local pharmacies to see if they distribute emergency contraception (the morning after pill). If they don’t, work with your local pro-choice organization to create petitions or a letter writing campaign, and place op-eds in local newspapers publicizing the importance of having quick, convenient access to emergency contraception.
  • Let your friends know you support reproductive justice. Display PEP’s messages in your room, on your campus, and in your neighborhood.
  • Host a screening/discussion of The Cider House Rules, Sex and the City’s “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” episode or a documentary like The Fragile Promise of Choice.
  • Subscribe to your local pro-choice organization’s newsletter. When you’re done reading it, pass it on!

For more information about how to get started on your own or how to contact your local pro-choice organization, or if you would like to share any creative ideas about other ways that young people can speak out for reproductive justice, contact PEP at 888-253-CHOICE or [email protected]