Passing out pro-life literature is an excellent way to share the pro-life message.
Distributing literature to your fellow citizens is one of your most fundamental rights. In fact, this form of expression is specifically what the First Amendment was designed to protect!
Let’s look at the various ways you can carry out this form of pro-life activism.
- Leaflet a neighborhood
- Leaflet in public spaces
- Leaflet traffic an intersection
- Leaflet with drop cards
- Types of literature to hand out
Leaflet a neighborhood
One way to get your message out is to leaflet a neighborhood. This could be the neighborhood you live in, or a neighborhood near your local abortion clinic to let them know about what’s happening in their community, or even leafleting a neighborhood where an important election is taking place.
First, get your literature together. You can do this a variety of ways, from simply having a pamphlet to leave, or having your literature printed on door hangers that can hook onto a doorknob, or placing the literature into bags to leave on doorsteps.
Whatever method you choose, do not put literature into people’s mailboxes. Instead, hang your literature on doorknobs or stick it in the cracks between a screen door and the main door of the house.
If people tell you that you aren’t allowed to be on their property, they are mistaken. As mentioned above, the First Amendment protects your right to leave information for your fellow citizens as campaigns for public office do regularly.
If someone calls the police on you for this, the police should set them straight, but if there is any trouble, be sure to follow the guidelines in the Pro-Life Basic Training unit Working with police at your pro-life event.
Leaflet in public spaces
Leafleting on a sidewalk or other public area to passersby is another great way to spread the word.
This can be done in conjunction with another event, like a protest or prayer vigil, to let the public know what you’re doing and why.
Leafleting a public space can also be an event in and of itself, and it’s appropriate to a variety of circumstances. Our “They Were Our Brothers and Sisters” pamphlets, for instance, are especially suitable for distributing to large groups of passersby. Additionally, our friends at Human Life Alliance have a variety of publications that also work well as handouts.
Whatever your purpose, have your literature neatly prepared and approach people with a smile. It can be intimidating to talk to strangers and give them literature on a controversial topic, but the trick is to act as if you have something they want.
Some phrases our best literature distributors use include, “Hi, this is for you!” or “Free information!” These innocuous sounding phrases and your friendly attitude will make people feel more comfortable taking your literature.
Keep an eye out for people dropping your literature on the ground after they take it. Literature costs money, and if it’s still in good shape, don’t waste it! Work it back into your stack and hand it out again.
Leaflet traffic at an intersection
Another great opportunity to reach the public is to hand out pro-life literature to stopped cars at an intersection. Note: Use common-sense and safety precautions at all times when encountering traffic.
There are several considerations to take into account when distributing literature to cars. Safety is first and foremost. We recommend obtaining a neon orange or green vest to be sure cars can see you. Be sure to only enter lanes of traffic that are stopped and exit the lane in advance of the cars beginning to move again. Always keep your eyes and wits about you as you walk through lanes of cars.
With those considerations in mind, distribution of literature at an intersection is relatively easy. Simply wait until you have a red light, and enter the line of cars offering a piece of literature to each car. Watch for signs that someone in the car wants to see your literature, often it will be a passenger rather than the driver, so be ready to go to whomever shows interest. As with a crowd, if you get one person to take a piece of literature, you will often have greater success with those behind them who see them take the literature, so capitalize on that when it happens.
Keep verbal interactions short as you will need to jump out of traffic quickly when the light changes, and you won’t want to be in the middle of a conversation when that happens.
Once you have gone through one light cycle, simply head back up to the intersection and start again when the light turns red.
If you have limited manpower, be sure to watch traffic for a few minutes and see on which corner traffic backs up the most, giving you the best opportunity to maximize each light cycle.
If you see police, you may wish to get out of the street until they pass, as they will sometimes request that you not be in the street citing “safety reasons.” If they do tell you this, you should comply for the time being, but research what the laws in your city are and whether the police actually have authority to tell you not to distribute literature in the street. If they do not, you may wish to raise this issue with the police department outside the context of your literature distribution day, or you may wish to choose another intersection where you can operate more freely.
Leaflet with drop cards
Drop cards are a nice covert way to get the word out, and distributing them is easy.
These small cards can be left anywhere for others to find. Potential spots include store shelves—perhaps near contraceptives or Plan B pills in a drugstore, in books, in stores, credit card readers on gas pumps, sinks in public restrooms, or just about anywhere another member of the public might pick up your card and read it.
Our friends at Created Equal have a great line of drop cards and other literature you can order.
Types of literature to hand out
As noted above, these techniques can be used for a variety of topics. You could hand out election guides or a handout on a specific piece of legislation you’re for or against.
You can hand out educational materials on abortion methods, brochures showing victims of abortion, pamphlets on the the options available to a woman experiencing an untimely pregnancy, or literature exposing Planned Parenthood like the League’s “Getting to Know Planned Parenthood” flyer to name a few.
You can also hand out invitations to take action. Let the community know about your pro-life activities and how they can get involved!
Literature is also a fantastic way to put pressure on the abortion industry or other businesses involved in helping abortionists. For example, the Pro-Life Action League was happy to work with our friends at Created Equal on an initiative called targeting medical waste hauler Stericycle, calling on them to stop hauling fetal remains for the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood.
Whichever type of literature you choose, you can be sure that you’ll be helping to share the pro-life message!