1. Sign the Petition
There is a current official Parliamentary Petition against both the Faruqi abortion bill* and the Penny Sharpe Bill. It is vital that this petition reaches as many signatures as possible over the coming weeks.
Unlike most petitions these days, it must be signed by hand. The hand signed copies will then be sent to Parliament where they will be tabled (presented to Parliament).
You can find a copy of the petition with space for signatures here. It is in PDF format for ease of printing: Petition to the Legislative Council of NSW (against the Faruqi & Sharpe bills).
*Please note that voting on the Faruqi Bill ha staken place where this dangerous and extreme bill was defeated 25-14 on the floor of Parliament. However, the above petition is still appropiate to sign to make a stand against the Penny Sharpe Bill. All signatures collected for the Faruqi bill will also count for the Sharpe one, since the petition was against both bills.
WHO CAN SIGN?
Anyone currently residing in New South Wales.
WHERE CAN I GET SIGNATURES?
Anywhere you like. Your work, school, university, church, community or parenting group are all appropriate. Feel free to snap a pic and share on social media and Twitter!
WHAT ARE THE RULES?
Important Points to ensure signed petitions are valid:
- Signatures may be collected on either of the first or second page of the petition.
- The petition pages must not be photocopied back to back. Signatures must be collected on single sided pages.
- Only original petitions, not copies, can be tabled in the Legislative Council. Petitions cannot be sent to Parliament by email or fax. Individuals collecting signatures may decide to keep a copy for themselves, but the originals must be the ones forwarded for tabling in the House.
- There is no minimum age requirement for signing the petition. However, the person signing must be able to comprehend what they are doing.
- The petition will be tabled in the House when it is sitting.
It is important that once signatures are collected they are forwarded to Parliament as soon as possible.
Post ORIGINAL SHEETS of signatures to:
The Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC
Member of the Legislative Council
Parliament of New South Wales
SYDNEY NSW 2000
N.B. Do not send the petitions by facsimile or by email. Only originals can be tabled in the House.
2. Write to the Members of the Upper House of Parliament
One of the most time efficient ways to influence our MP's is to write to them expressing your concerns and opposition to the Sharpe Bill. It is expected that the Bill will go to the vote in the Upper House soon. So it's very important for as many people as possible to write a hand written letter to as many members of the Legislative Council (Upper House) as possible.
WHY HAND WRITTEN?
Experience shows New South Wales that a hand written letter is taken far more seriously and is far more likely to reach the actual desk of an MP/MLC than an email or phone call. MLC's are very bsuy people and phone calls and emails only interupt their packed schedules. A letter (preferab;y hand written but typed with your siganture is acceptable also) makes much more of an impact.
See this link for a complete list of the Members of the Legislative Council of the New South Wales Parliament (search by 'Legislative Council' if necessary). You will find their postal addresses there.
HOW CAN WE GET MORE LETTERS?
Why not gather a group together to write letters? Encourage your friends and family to take a few moment to sit down and write a brief letter. Address and stamp them and post them off!
Do’s and Don’ts for writing a letter
DO Keep it brief. MP’s are very busy people and will not have time to read very long correspondance.
DO be sensitive. Abortion is a very emotive issue and it’s important to use respectful language and avoid violent descriptions, language or imagery.
DO include your address so that the MP can ensure that you are a New South Wales resident.
DO tell a personal story. Perhaps you’ve had an abortion, or know someone who has. Maybe you’ve spent time outside clinics supporting women. Or you could have seen friends and families go through challenging situations relating to pregnancy.
DO ask friends and family members to write their own letters or make their own calls.
DON’T use religious arguments. Not everyone is religious or follows the same religion that you do, so it is best to use secular discussion to get your point across.
DON’T make personal attacks. This is a very sensitive issue and it is important to remember that there are a variety of perspectives. Keeping discussion open and respectful is key.
DON’T forget the community. Many people are concerned only for the unborn child and while expressing this forget the effect of abortion on women, medical professionals and the community.
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