Sample Letters to the Editor

The primary way in which you will be involved with the print media is through Letters to the Editor (LTEs). This book will help you submit the best LTE possible. Although some of these letters may be printed verbatim, they are not intended to be used as is, but to be used primarily as a guide. Edit as you see fit and replace text with current information and quotes from your local events.

Never overlook the possibility that the newspaper might let you write a full article. I was able to write my first one simply by calling the editorial page editor of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and pointing out that I could not effectively respond to a recent 1,200-word pro-abortion article with just a 200-word LTE. He said that if I submitted a piece with 1,200 words, he would consider it. I did, and they published it without changing a comma! Just remember that whether you submit a full article or a LTE, the basic rules are about the same.

  1. Learn what the newspaper's guidelines are and stay within them. If their rules are that LTEs aren't published if they are longer than 200 words, and you send in one that's 300 words long, you're only giving them justification for rejecting or excessively editing your work. The same thing is true for full articles. If they allow 1,500 words and you send in one that's 2,000 words, you're asking for trouble.
  2. Be certain to use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage. This is crucial in our efforts to repair the image we have with the public. Newspapers know how important this is and they take full advantage of it. Notice how often you see the pro-life position espoused in a rambling, incoherent, poorly written letter to the editor. Then notice how seldom you see that in a pro-abortion letter. That doesn't happen by accident or because our opponents are better writers. It happens because the newspapers correct bad pro-abortion letters, and publish our bad ones errors and all. Remember, those who publish newspapers have their own abortion agenda, and they fully realize that it is helped by printing poorly written pro-life letters. Some good tools to have are a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a spelling checker, and a grammar checker. If you have a computer, there are programs that perform these functions.
  3. When responding to a pro-abortion article or LTE, list the points it made on a sheet of paper and make sure you address each one step-by-step. That keeps you focused, and keeps your finished piece from "rambling." Sometimes the word limits imposed by a newspaper can really work against the pro-life side. The problem is that an abortion advocate can put more lies into a given size letter than you could possibly expose in a letter limited to the same length. Let's say a particular newspaper has a 250-word limit, and they print a pro-abortion letter containing five lies, each one of which would require at least 250 words to expose. The solution is to have five of your pro-life friends each send in a 250-word letter that exposes just one of the lies. They probably won't all get printed, but if three of them are, you effectively wind up with a 750-word letter.
  4. Be aware that getting your message to the public in a newspaper is a competitive event fought on two fronts. In order to get published, you must first compete against other articles and LTEs that were submitted. Then, once published, you have to compete for the reader's attention against the other pieces that were printed. The rule of thumb is to say all you need to say while remembering that shorter pieces are more likely to get published, and if published are far more likely to be read. Make certain that anything you submit can be read and understood by the average fifth-grader. Regrettably, that is about the reading and comprehension level of most Americans.
  5. If several people from your organization are going to respond at the same time, don't let everyone use the same typewriter and stationery, and certainly don't copy each other's writing style or word usage.
  6. If you write a LTE or article that is timely or of crucial importance, consider taking it to the newspaper in person.
  7. Anytime a LTE or article you submit is not published, find out why. And don't be shy about going up the chain of command until you get a reasonable answer.
  8. Every pro-life organization should have no more than one person authorized to submit LTEs or articles on its behalf.
  9. Anticipate upcoming events and have responses ready for every possibility. It makes no sense whatsoever to scramble around in a panic trying to respond to a big Supreme Court decision that you knew beforehand was coming! Anytime something is on the horizon that will create an opportunity for a LTE, prepare a response for all the possibilities, and then after the event all you have to do is fill in the details.
  10. Start a public relations and information campaign with the local press. Take personal responsibility for cultivating a better relationship with them. Become known. Personally meet as many of the editorial staff of local newspapers as you can. Visit with them from time to time--even when nothing is going on--just to maintain your lines of communication. Always compliment (verbally and followed up in writing) a newspaper reporter who has given the pro-life position or its people a fair shake. Don't let them hear from you only when you are complaining. Look for excuses to call them when you have absolutely no pro-life motive. However, don't be a pest. And when you do call, don't ramble on unless they make it obvious that they want to talk. (Be sure to keep a log of all contacts between you and them, including a summary of what was said, the date, and who initiated the contact.)

You should also create a dossier on all local press people and local pro-aborts who get LTEs published. This file should include: personal and family data; copies of anything they've written or said about abortion or a related subject; organizations to which they or their immediate family members belong (such as political parties or organizations, NOW, NARAL, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, etc.); and their personal experience with abortion, or a related subject such as adoption, the death of a child, etc. Also do some behind-the-scenes research on local press people to find areas of common interest with you or other members of your staff. If you find that there are some, have the person in your organization with the common interest be the one to deal with that press person.

If someone you've worked with in the local media gets an award, has a kid graduate from school, or wins the local 10K run, acknowledge it. Watch for personal and family events in their lives and respond accordingly. For example: a death in the family, a graduation, they (or a family member) receive some kind of award, their kid scores the winning touchdown, they get a promotion, somebody gets married, etc.

Note: These media "investigation and observation" jobs are perfect for volunteers. Assign them particular press people for whom they are responsible. Their duty is to create and maintain files on those people. Assign other volunteers the job of scanning each issue of a particular newspaper for abortion-related stories, columns, or LTEs. Keep everything! You never know when it will come in handy. Also, don't be discouraged if your press file seems to be seldom, if ever, used. One day it will be. And when that time comes, the file will prove to have been worth all the effort it took to assemble.

Copyright Information

Life Dynamics Incorporated is the lawful copyright holder of this workbook. Any individual and/or organization commonly known as "pro-life" or "anti-abortion" is hereby granted permission to use the material contained within this workbook in any way they feel will benefit the "pro-life" or "anti-abortion" effort. Additionally, there is no requirement that attribution be given. This permission includes (but is not limited to) direct quotes, verbatim transcripts, duplications, and/or photocopies. The only limit to this copyright permission as that the workbook may not be copied in its entirety, resulting in the creation of another workbook. (Additional workbooks may be ordered from the address below at $20 per copy, including postage.) Anyone not fitting the above description of "pro-life" or "anti-abortion" who is found to be reproducing (either in part or whole) any material contained within this workbook--without first obtaining written permission to do so--will be fully prosecuted under United States copyright laws.

Mark Crutcher, President
Life Dynamics Incorporated
Post Office Box 2226
Denton, Texas 76202
(817) 380-8800
(817) 380-8700 fax

Priests for Life is happy to present the following resource, provided with the permission of Mark Crutcher. These are letters to the editor about abortion, and can be very helpful in training pro-lifers in their ability to communicate the pro-life message by means of the press. We have also provided an index of various terms and topics contained in these letters.

We invite you to use the following 430 sample letters to the editor. We have organized them by question or category. In general, each letter addresses an issue, accusation, claim, response, etc. of a pro-abortionist and shows the false assumptions, denial, or error in that line of reasoning. Please choose from the topics below.

Is abortion about "right or wrong" or about "who decides"? Responding to pro-abortionists who say, "Freedom is about letting people make their own choices."

The Myth of Freedom: Pro-choicers say that abortion "gives each woman the freedom to live as she sees fit. Women need to be completely free to make decisions about motherhood." What kind of reasoning considers killing one's own child necessary for freedom?

Working to make abortion illegal: Responding to those who favor legal abortion who say, "If abortions are harder to obtain in this state, women will just travel to other states to have them." Pro-abortion people argue, "Outlawing abortion will not end it." Responding to the argument that "stopping abortion will not happen through changing laws--it will come from changing hearts--so therefore we shouldn't work to make it illegal."

Responding to the pro-abortion slogan "Letting Women Be Their Own Moral Agents"--a ploy to try to make abortion seem morally acceptable. Because abortion is "such an intensely personal decision," it should be permitted.

Responding to the pro-abortion claim that pro-lifers don't "trust women." They believe that an end to abortion would "wage war" against women.

Pro-abortion activists object to being called "pro-abortionists." Of all social movements, only abortion advocates are ashamed of what they stand for. The many reasons why the proper term is "pro-abortion" instead of "pro-choice."

Death from childbirth: Abortion advocates sometimes state that abortion is needed to prevent death of the mother from childbirth. These aren't the facts.

Pro-choice politicians and Pastors want to be popular rather than honorable so they excuse abortion. Some politicians say they are "personally opposed to abortion." But they also say, "I cannot impose my belief on others." What they aren't acknowledging is that every time they vote on a law they are "imposing their beliefs on others." By claiming to be "abortion neutral" the government avoids its responsibility to protect the weak.

Responding to how some pro-choice pastors say, "As a pastor, my job is to nurture souls, not control bodies. And besides, an aborted child would just go to heaven anyway." Pastors who know abortion is murder do not speak out for fear of offending someone. The church has traded its moral authority for comfort and popularity. We need to send out a new message that the church will not remain silent.

Poverty and the myth of scarce resources and overpopulation: Abortion proponents argue, "How can right-to-lifers get so wrapped up in ending abortion when we can't even feed the children who are already starving?" They claim that somehow abortion is necessary because of "scarce resources." While many children don't have decent food, clothing, housing, and medical care--it's NOT because we don't have the resources to care for them. The compassionate response to poverty is to help people climb out of it, not kill them off.

Abortion is supposed to solve every society ill: How we "need" abortion in order to prevent child abuse, homelessness, poverty, family break-up, and just about every other social ill. Every social problem that pro-abortionists claim will get worse if we make abortion illegal, has gotten worse since abortion was legalized.

Unwanted children and child-abuse: A woman who favors legal abortion has asked, "If women are denied access to abortion, who will pay for all those unwanted children?" Pro-choicers have said that pro-lifers "never give a thought to the children who will be abused if women lose the right to bear only loved and wanted children." They say, "Right-to-lifers claim to be pro-family, but they never consider the strain an unwanted child places on a family."

Privacy issue and government interference: Pro-abortion extremists have asked, "What gives the government the right to come into our bedrooms?" Radical pro-abortion feminists rant, "The government has no right to tell a woman she must have a child--No Mandatory Motherhood." Are opponents of "mandatory motherhood" also opponents of "mandatory fatherhood"? Pro-choice groups sometimes argue, "If the government can tell a woman not to have an abortion, it can tell her she has to have one."

Abortions of convenience: Responding to their claim that "No woman ever wants an abortion. Abortions are not acts of whim or fancy, but of tragic and compelling necessity." Abortion advocates sometimes say they can't understand why right-to-lifers think they have the right to interfere in the toughest decision a woman will ever make. "How could anybody who has never had an abortion understand what the aborting woman is going through?" they ask. Pro-choicers claim "women never use abortion frivolously, but only in situations of terrible necessity." Should it be legal for a woman who purposely got pregnant (for acceptance, rite of passage, or to keep a relationship together) to get an abortion? Rise of sex selection abortions and "selective reduction" abortions because woman is pregnant with more babies than wanted. The fact is more than 90% do not fall into this "tragic necessity" category.

Prolifers are often accused of being "insensitive to the needs of mothers," while pro-choicers ostensibly being "sensitive." They ask, "Why don't you pro-lifers help some of the people who are already here?" To begin with, unborn children are already here. What we're trying to do is see that they are allowed to remain here alive. Pro-abortion extremists have voiced the accusation, "Pro-lifers only care about life from conception to birth." Pro-abortionists consider pregnant women to be subhuman creatures that need surgery (abortion) to be made fully human again. "Pro-life, that's a lie; you don't care if women die," they chant.

Myth of the "pro-choice" majority: Proponents of legal abortion have claimed "most Americans favor choice"--the so-called "pro-choice majority." Ramifications of being wrong in one's position--whose stakes are higher? Characterizing the official "pro-choice" position in a nutshell.

Abortion supporters say they are "tired of right-to-lifers trying to impose their religious beliefs on others." Some advocates of legal abortion have argued that since theologians can't agree on when life begins (personhood, ensoulment), Roe v. Wade should stand. Why is it that when abortion advocates start losing the battle on scientific grounds they drag in religion? Responding to a sign reading, "Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries."

A child in the womb is more than just a "potential human": Abortion fanatics try to defend abortion by claiming, "No one knows when life begins." They say abortion just eliminates the "potential," but does not end a life. ...Everyone recognizes that an acorn is not a tree, and an egg is not a chicken. Pro-lifers need to learn to tell the difference between a developing potential human and a living person." The truth is that abortions are performed precisely because the baby is alive, but is not wanted.

Abortion as birth control: A pro-abortion organization recently claimed that pro-lifers "cause" abortion by "opposing sex education and birth control." An abortion fanatic said, "Anti-choicers say abortion is murder because it destroys a fertilized egg. Well, so does an IUD or Norplant. It's really birth control they oppose." Using abortion as "birth control" (routinely and repeatedly) rather than just in the "hard cases."

Parental consent/notification legislation for minors

Abortions in situations of rape and incest: A pro-abortion man demanded, "Why should a woman who's been the victim of rape or incest have to bear her assailant's child?"

Claim to be a "women's issue" that men should stay out of: One of the more outrageous things radical pro-abortion feminists say is, "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Radical pro-abortion feminists find fault with men who oppose abortion. They say abortion is a women's issue and "men have no business being involved." Before the legalization of abortion, boyfriends who impregnated their girlfriends and took them to get abortions could be prosecuted if the abortion caused her death. What are the father's rights to decide if his child should be killed?

A pro-abortion activist recently asked pro-lifers to "join with us in our efforts to end the need for abortions." The truth is that there is no need for abortion. There is only the abortionists' unwillingness to offer anything else. The suggestion that pro-lifers and abortionists work together "to address why it is so difficult to talk women out of abortions once they have decided that they need them."

Fetal tissue research and RU-486 for medicinal purposes: Pro-abortion people claim that pro-lifers aren't really "for life" because we oppose fetal experiments, which they claim could save lives. A noted abortion fanatic recently lambasted pro-lifers for opposing the abortion pill, RU-486. She claimed that the drug has the potential to fight breast cancer, and that by opposing RU-486, pro-lifers are consigning women to die of cancer.

Sidewalk counselors blocking abortion clinics: Pro-abortion fanatics sometimes say, "What gives these anti-choicers the right to deny women their constitutional rights by illegally blocking clinics?" although escorts often use physical force.

Abortion-related shootings, acts of vandalism and violence, death penalty, and a consistent ethic of life: After the recent fire at the local abortion clinic, the clinic spokesman said, "What makes pro-lifers think they have the right to bomb or burn a completely legal abortion clinic?" Everyone mourns when an abortionist is killed, but who mourns when an abortionist kills a woman? Since many more women killed by their abortionists than abortionists killed by pro-lifers, why is the government only worried about the pro-lifers? Some pro-choicers have claimed that pro-lifers are inconsistent for opposing abortion but favoring the death penalty. Increase in violence across all of society: A pro-abortion activist's recent column complained that it is wrong to oppose abortion when so many children are killing and being killed on the streets of our cities.

Abortionists disliking pro-lifers assertions: An abortionist recently insisted that he and his accomplices are not Nazis and that abortion mills cannot be compared to Nazi death camps--claiming that abortions are "medical care." An abortionist complained that just because she does abortions, people assume that she hates babies. Being nice most of the time does not excuse the hideous things abortionists do the rest of the time.

Ways abortionists justify actions: Letters of gratitude to abortionists "Gratitude just means that you did what somebody else wanted you to do. It doesn't mean that what you did was defensible." Lack of regret as criteria to measure the rightness of an act -- it's a measure of the conscience of the person acting, not a measure of the rightness of the act committed.

The abortionist said that abortion disturbed him at first, but that as he did more of them, he began to find them more interesting and less morally troubling. Once habitual it becomes easier is something all serial killers claim.

Government funding of abortions and Profit-motive of abortionists: In the battle over the budget, Planned Parenthood was arguing that they need money for "family planning" services to save the taxpayers money. Abortionists want federal funding of abortions, yet want "the government to stay out of our lives." There has been a finding that public funding for legal abortions has not increased the number of ILLEGAL abortions. They especially say the government should butt out. Then they turn around and say the government should pay for it.

Criminalizing abortionists vs. abortive mothers: Some pro-choicers complain that legislation restricting abortion would cause women to be jailed for having abortions. The only people who propose prison sentences for abortive women are pro-choicers. The goal of pro-lifers was always to put ABORTIONISTS in jail, where they belong. A pro-choicer recently asked, "Since conservatives usually favor the death penalty, what do you think they want the penalty to be for women who have abortions?"

Botched, illegal abortions resulting in women dying: Pro-abortionists claim that prohibiting abortion would increase those done by "back-alley butchers." Pro-choicers continue to use the old lie that illegal abortions killed 5,000 to 10,000 women every year.

Planned Parenthood's spokeswoman made much last week of the two Klansmen carrying anti-abortion signs at the Ku Klux Klan rally. She said, "It just shows what kind of people oppose abortion."

Adoption of unwanted children

Ban on pictures of aborted babies being displayed in public

Hypocrisy of Planned Parenthood: Supreme Court's Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, Quote from National Organization for Women spokeswoman Jeanne Clark. Planned Parenthood changing their minds from an earlier stance

Myth of "legal" means "safe": Prochoicers advocate midwives and non-doctors to perform abortions. Pro-choicers advocate the "do-it-yourself" home abortion procedure--so much for legality ensuring safety.

RU-486: Pro-abortionists wanting to lift of the import ban of RU-486, the French "abortion pill."

Government regulation of abortion facilities -- equal standards to medical clinics

Dismissing data of pro-lifers as biased: Pro-abortionists have said, "There is no evidence of Post-Abortion Syndrome because the researchers who identified it are all opposed to abortion." Abortionists claim that if someone opposes abortion, their data must be bad.

Myth of altruism: "Don't judge me by my actions, but by my intentions." "The only motive that I (an abortionist) ever encountered in women having abortions is "to be a good mother"--somehow killing is the most loving thing to do.

Early abortion laws focused on "quickening"-- "Pre-Roe abortion laws were meant to protect women, not babies, and therefore they should never be reinstated," they claim, "Pre-Roe anti-abortion laws were just attempts by the male-dominated medical establishment to drive non-doctors out of business." The shortage" of "abortion providers" certainly shows a change of attitude in the medical profession. If we "turn back the clock, seedy old men" will demand sex from desperate women "seeking" abortions.

Equating abortion with women's rights: Letting "women do what they want with their bodies." Abortion is not a sign that women are free, but bitter proof that they are desperate. No real choice. Myth of empowerment. Myth of abortion as the cornerstone of freedom and equality with men. See abortion for what it really is: something that is done to women, by men, for men.

Informed-consent legislation and mandatory waiting period, requiring that women be informed about what they are about to do and be required to wait 24 or 48 hours as reflection-time

Hypocrisy of pro-choice language: "Restrictive" vs. "protective" in vocabulary of abortion laws, "Pro-choice" people who only offer ONE REAL choice: abortion. Identifying language of abortion with the language of slavery.

Using science to determine when life begins: If we use the absence of brain waves to determine that a person's life has ended, why shouldn't we use the presence of brain waves to determine that someone's life has begun? The fallacy of the belief that life begins at birth. Proof that fetus has scientifically-verifiable different genetic code than mother. Once we decide that life begins at any point other than the one based on science--conception--then one arbitrary point is as valid as any other. It's interesting that the unborn are being treated for diseases -- being recognized as a patient separate from the mother.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: