This letter features reporting from “Abortion Is Considered Basic Health Care in Mexico City. Its Clinics Are Open to U.S. Women.” by Greta Díaz González Vázquez and Alexa Ura, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

Dear Honorable United States Representative Janis Schakowsky,

My name is Allison K, and I go to Holmes Middle School in Wheeling, Illinois. I am writing to you because I think that there is an unfair disadvantage towards women today.

Though women have won their right to vote, to own property, to fair wages, and to have sole custody over their children, they still don’t have freedom to own their bodies. Right now, only 66 of 195 countries have legalized abortion. Women are not getting the healthcare that they need and deserve.

A matter of utmost importance that affects people who can get pregnant globally is the long-lasting war on abortion. Recently, Roe v. Wade was overturned. Now, a person can no longer decide if they want to get an abortion; the state makes the decision for them. This has created hundreds of medical refugees. For example, in the Pulitzer Center-supported article “Abortion Is Considered Basic Health Care in Mexico City. Its Clinics Are Open to U.S. Women,” the journalists state that since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, people who require access to an abortion may not be able to receive one in their state. The article goes on to say, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion cut off access to millions of people of reproductive age, forcing them to look beyond state lines if they want to end their pregnancies.” States like Texas have people traveling to Mexico City to receive abortions. This is comparable to people having to leave their state to get simple health care, like a vaccine. It is all basic health care.

I care about this because of the fact that I am a girl who might need reproductive healthcare one day. I have sisters, cousins, and friends who could need an abortion one day. Being a young woman during this time is quite scary; it seems as if my body isn't my own. Fearing what Congress might do next to regulate a body that isn’t theirs is something that I never anticipated feeling. The government is supposed to keep us safe and do what is within our best interest, and yet, they are doing things that could harm people for the sake of control. 

In the face of this frightening issue, I believe that you could help. Considering the fact that the overturning of Roe v. Wade was done by the Supreme Court, Congress cannot directly do anything to overrule this decision. However, something that you could do is propose a change to the Constitution. A new amendment could give people access to abortions and reproductive health care in every state. If you were to do this, I’d be hopeful that the amendment change would receive the vote of approval. Though it would be rather difficult to make a worldwide difference, maybe we can start the change here in the United States. Everything starts somewhere, and maybe we, as a country, could inspire that change to happen.

I am very grateful that you have taken the time to review this letter. I sincerely hope that you will take what I have said into account, because this is a matter of life or death for a lot of people.


Allison K.

Allison Kiska is a student at Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle school. She was born in Illinois, where she stayed in order to be close to her family. Women’s abortion suffrage is a very important issue to Allison, as she knows that it could affect her loved ones some day.

In her free time, Allison likes to play music on her guitars, and spend quality time with her friends and family. She is very dedicated to school, and her education is very important to her. She hopes that through writing, she can help get through to as many people as she can.

Read more winning entries from the 2022 Local Letters for Global Change contest!