'Personhood' puts abortion on ballot | Nov. 8
Better ways to reduce abortions
I'm curious as to why Personhood USA, an organization based in Colorado, has decided they are the Americans who will control what happens to the welfare and bodies of all American women.
I have a caution for members of Personhood Florida. Think carefully about what "personhood beginning at the moment of fertilization" will mean to your wives, daughters, sisters and all other female relatives and friends. If Personhood Florida keeps women from using contraception of choice, keeps them from any and all abortions, and from lifesaving medical procedures, what does that make Florida's women? Are we slaves to an organization that would force us to carry to term after rape or incest?
This mentality is a form of misogyny. Misogyny is practiced by men, but also exists among women.
Find other, safer ways to lower the number of abortions done in Florida and the United States. Methods such as education and affordable birth control are surely better choices.
Judy Hess, Palm Harbor
'Personhood' puts abortion on ballot | Nov. 8
Movement could backfire
As a lifelong abortion foe I have some serious misgivings about defining personhood at the ballot box.
First of all this approach may backfire: If the majority is entitled to define that personhood starts at conception, the same majority may in the future despoil the zygote (or for that matter any group of people based on their age, IQ, ethnic origin, religion or sexual preferences) of personhood.
Second, I don't see how declaring the embryo a person might prevent abortion. Our society gives us everyday examples of how the human person is disposable for the convenience of other persons. These examples include capital punishment; war veterans led to addiction, poverty and suicide; children separated from their parents who had entered the country illegally; abused children; sweatshop and sex slavery around the world; and world conflicts fueled by arm merchants.
The definition of personhood belongs to the realm of each person's philosophy. Our opposition to abortion should stand on a simple and incontestable scientific truth: Life begins at conception, because what is universally considered life is the ongoing lifelong decompression of a unique DNA file which is established indeed with fertilization.
Lodovico Balducci, M.D., Tampa
Conception or fertilization
The proposed Mississippi amendment did not state that personhood was to be legally established at conception; rather, personhood would be established at fertilization. This is a huge and critical difference.
Conception, as the word implies, refers to the event when a fertilized ovum embeds or attaches itself to the uterine wall. We do not know how many fertilized ova fail to attach to the uterine wall. We do know that the IUD and oral contraceptives prevent this attachment. Oral contraceptives do not necessarily prevent fertilization.
Declaring that fertilized ova are persons creates enormous legal problems. The voters in Mississippi made the wise and logical choice within our legal traditions.
C.D. Chamberlain, Spring Hill
Voting requirements | Nov. 4, PolitiFact Florida
The Florida Division of Elections admits that nothing is done to verify voter citizenship unless the person registers at a motor vehicle office.
Two county election supervisors (nothing like a large enough sampling to prove a point) either believe the idea of illegal resident voting is "laughable" or that there is "no way" illegals have ever voted in their county. Why? Because the person has to sign a piece of paper attesting that he or she is qualified to vote. Why would a person willing to undertake an illegal act such as voting have reservations about lying on a piece of paper?
Florida has to do whatever is necessary to ensure that elections are seen as fair and honest. Political correctness has no place when it comes to guarantying that our citizens' most precious right is not compromised.
George Post, Clearwater
Shift transportation planning to fast lane Nov. 7, commentary
Show us the plan
David Singer writes an excellent article about the transportation system needing to get into the fast lane. My only problem is that he doesn't give any solutions to these problems.
Why can't the powers that be come up with a plan showing where the rails would go locally to move the most people to alleviate congestion? And I don't mean a bullet train from Orlando to Tampa International Airport.
Workers are having a hard time paying for the fuel needed in their autos now. Maybe a trip to the large cities of Europe to see how their rail systems work might help our transport people to come up with better ideas.
Jerry C. Hiers, Tampa
Penn State scandal
Ugly side of humanity
There is nothing "iconic" about a coach who does little to protect children from being abused in his own facilities. There nothing "prestigious" about a college president who allows sexual assault against children to go unpunished. There is no excuse for a college teaching assistant running away as a 10-year-old boy is being raped in his sight.
Ever heard of ethics? This is not a moral dilemma. This is an easy call. Your friend, your co-worker is abusing young boys. Does it really take a meeting to figure out what to do?
And 13 years? None of you ever felt compelled to do the right thing for 13 years? Really?
What were you protecting? Your jobs? Your school's reputation? Your college football program? Did you really think any of these were more worthy than the lives of countless children?
I am in disbelief that so many men did so little to protect innocent children. This is the ugly side of humanity.
Joe Paterno's legacy will not be for the winningest coach. He will be forever known as the biggest loser along with his gutless cronies.
Debra Torres, Tampa