Messaging Guide: Protecting Roe v. Wade

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Across the country and in Iowa, access to reproductive healthcare is on the chopping block. In Iowa alone, legislators have chiseled away at the right to safe and legal abortion services. Statewide and national efforts are terrifyingly close to stopping short the freedoms protected by Roe v. Wade and ending access to safe and legal abortions in states like Iowa, Texas and Mississippi. 

We cannot go backwards. Roe v. Wade must remain intact today and for future generations. We must stop state legislatures limiting access. Women deserve access to safe and legal abortion services and right to dictate their own healthcare. 

Key Research Takeaways

Our research shows that public health messaging most consistently moved voters to dissaprove of Governor Reynolds’ anti-abortion and anti-reproductive health agenda. On each metric posed—regardless of job approval, favorability and ballot day voting options—the public health message resonated with Iowa voters. 

Coming in behind public health were sex education, and then danger. Across many demographics, Iowa voters were moved by a need to provide sex education for public heath, and the dangerous impact limited abortion services have on women in Iowa. 

These findings line up with previous testing that shows access to healthcare is strongly supported in Iowa and motivates tough opinions about state leaders who stand in the way of increased access. 

Key Message Guidance  

  • Start with a shared values statement. 
  • Name the problem with very clear villains in opposition to our shared value.
    • However, don’t repeat the opposition’s message, even to negate it. Speak proactively to reframe the issue. 
  • Frame the opposition as a “hurdle” we can overcome, rather than a “barrier” that stops us. 
  • Make voters the protagonists and focus on values. 
  • Provide tangible outcomes. 
  • End with a call to action.

Sample Messaging #1

No matter our income or where we live, most Iowans value the freedom to access safe and legal abortion protected by Roe v. Wade.Shared Value
But Governor Reynolds’ agenda is not about improving the health of Iowans but instead would take away their fundamental rights. If she truly valued life, she would get to work solving public health crises like rising maternal mortality rates and alarming increases in sexually transmitted diseases across the state. Define the opposition and tangibles
If we hold Governor Reynolds accountable and advocate for comprehensive health care, we can elect leaders who will improve public health, which includes protecting Roe v. Wade. Call to action

Sample Messaging #2

No matter where we’re from or what we do, most Iowans believe in the freedom to access contraception and the education we need to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.Shared value 
Unfortunately, Governor Reynolds has significantly limited access to contraception and sex education with her reckless policies. As a result, sexually transmitted disease is skyrocketing in Iowa, along with unintended pregnancies. And abortions have increased by more than 40 percent in the past two years.Define the opposition and tangibles
By standing up to the Governor and advocating for the education our children and families need, we can protect our freedoms and our health.Call to action 

Sample Messaging #2

No matter our income or where we live, Iowans believe in protecting our freedom to reproductive health and safety which includes the access to abortion. Shared value 
Unfortunately, Governor Reynolds has severely limited access to reproductive health care in Iowa. If she had it her way, women in Iowa won’t have access to abortion at all, putting them in danger and risking their lives. Define the opposition and tangibles
If we stand up to these attacks, we can elect leaders who will protect Roe v. Wade, and protect the reproductive health and safety of women across Iowa. Call to action 

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