Write a Letter to the Editor in Support of Abortion Access
We need you!
2021 is the most hostile legislative year ever when it comes to abortion access — there have been more abortion restrictions and bans enacted across the country this year than ever before. State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting abortion access and nearly 600 anti-abortion laws have been introducedin states this year!
On December 1, 2021, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and will now decide whether or not state laws that ban pre-viability abortions are constitutional. This case is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and will put millions of people at risk of losing access to reproductive health and rights.
Join us in writing a letter to the editor and speaking out against threats to abortion access. Help us broaden the conversation by sharing why access to safe and legal abortion should be protected and why everyone should be able to decide if and when to start a family.
Why write a letter to the editor (LTE)?
The opinion section is a highly read section in both print and online publications.
Thought leaders including politicians, reporters, and members of the editorial board of newspapers read these pieces.
The more people write about any one topic, the more space that opinion will receive in the newspaper. So even if your LTE is not printed, when you write one you give a similar LTE a better chance of being published.
How to write a LTE:
1) Reference a specific article that ran in that newspaper.
Here's an example. Notice that the writer includes the title of the article she is referencing and the date it was published.
2) Establish your connection. Share why abortion access is important to you.
Examples of first lines:
I'm a strong advocate for abortion rights because [insert your why].
I had an abortion and everyone should be able to make that choice.
Every single person should be able to make their own decisions about their health, and their life. Choosing to have an abortion should be no exception.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about abortion, but not everyone can speak from firsthand experience. I decided to have an abortion and I am grateful for the choice I was able to make for myself, my family, and my future.
As a health care provider, it is my duty to help and support everyone who comes to me for care. Supporting those who are seeking an abortion is no exception.
I’m an abortion provider, and I’m proud to be one.
Restricting or outright banning access to safe and legal abortion is dangerous, immoral, and will have devastating consequences for many.
3) Be timely.
If you read an article that you want to react to, write a LTE and submit it that same day or shortly after. The faster, the better and the more likely your LTE will be published!
4) Write the way you speak.
Don't feel like you need to be overly formal. Speak from the heart, be yourself, and have an authentic voice. Here is a great example.
5) End with the result you’d like to see.
If you want the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade and protect abortion access, say so. Do you want your local elected officials to protect abortion access in your community? Say so! Hereis an example.
According to a reportby Planned Parenthood Federation of America and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, 26 states that will likely move to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
This means nearly half of all women of reproductive age — 36 million women, and even more transgender and nonbinary people that could need an abortion — could lose access to safe, legal abortion in the United States.
We are in a crisis moment for abortion access. This is the culmination of anti-abortion politicians and decades-long plans to outlaw abortion.
We’ve already gotten a preview of what a post-Roe world could look like with Texas’s S.B. 8, a radical bill banning abortion at approximately six weeks. This stunning ruling has left more than 7 million women of reproductive age — 10% of U.S. women of reproductive age — living in what is effectively a post-Roe state, where abortion is virtually inaccessible.
Abortion restrictions already harm Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people most, and these communities stand to lose the most if Roe is overturned.
The Supreme Court must uphold Roe v. Wade because no one's most personal medical decisions should be controlled by politicians, neighbors, complete strangers, or anyone else.
Every person should be able to make their own decisions about their health and their lives, including abortion.
It is time to support abortion access in all communities, and to support policies that increase access to abortion, rather than decimating people’s most basic rights state by state.
Ready to write? Here are some guidelines for local papers:
Note: many papers only accept LTEs from readers in their area of circulation, so pick the paper located in the area in which you live!