1. Letters to the Editor

Friday's letters: On abortion, it's time for women to share their stories

Published May 23

Calling out abortion bans | May 22

Time for women to share stories

Women are discussing abortions — not just the issue but the experience — their experiences, out loud and in the open. It's a coordinated effort to get those who'd take away our rights to control our own reproductive freedom to see us as people, human beings. Rather than, as House Speaker José Oliva referred to us, "host bodies."

I've been part of the pro-choice movement since the early '90s and during a time when we don't really need a Hulu subscription to see The Handmaid's Tale — just simply read the newspaper — I find this new generation of activism encouraging. When I worked at Tampa Woman's Health Center as a college student, I helped hundreds of women face the most difficult day of their lives and terminate their pregnancies in a safe, legal and dignified manner. I held their hands, explained the procedure and after-care. But more importantly I listened. This gave me the ammunition and inspiration I needed to later argue with protestors and defy their threats when coming to work, sometimes wearing a bullet-proof vest along with the doctors.

Those of us on the pro-choice side must continue to be unrelenting. Abortion should be available and on demand for any woman who wants it. Women must not be made to endure a pregnancy without their consent. Activists employ logic and reason to express this idea. Now, I see how sharing stories might be a more powerful way to advocate for women.

I've never needed an abortion. For that reason, I don't have any right to encourage women who've had to endure this experience to explain it. But I'm inspired by women brave enough to step away from the shame and shadows. I'm still holding their hands and helping them through it. I'm still listening.

Catherine Durkin Robinson, Tampa

Genshaft parting gift to USF: $20M | May 23

A grand goodbye gift

Kudos to outgoing University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft. Not only has she served with great success and distinction, but she enhances the university she served by giving back an unprecedented gift of $20 million. What a great example of philanthropy! President Genshaft is a beacon of hope for women everywhere by her leadership and demonstrating that she and her family are a class act.

Donna and Les Unger, Safety Harbor

Protect our right to vote | Column, May 21

A modern debtor's prison

The changes to Amendment 4 that await the governor's signature are discriminatory and have no place in a fair society. Anybody can default on a loan, stiff a contractor or welsh on any other debt without having their voting rights withheld. There are civil remedies, and the worst that anyone else who owes money faces is a judgment. This pending law puts an undue burden on the intent of Amendment 4 and those affected by it. It is the modern equivalent of debtor's prison and should be vetoed by any fair-minded governor.

David Pignatello, Largo

A GOP truth-teller | Column, May 23

Follow the Constitution

I am a Democrat. The last two years, I have felt like members of the GOP in Congress have put party before country. But I also wonder if my party is doing the same thing by worrying more about the 2020 election than their constitutional duty.

Jennifer Zumarraga, Tampa


  1. Sarah Rumschlag and her son Henry Rumschlag, 7, of St. Petersburg march during the science rally and march at Poynter Park in St. Pete. KAIJO, CHARLIE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.
  2. Yesterday• Opinion
    Plumes of steam drift from the cooling tower of FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio. RON SCHWANE  |  AP
    Thursday’s letters to the editor
  3. The M-16 is a pure military weapon. File photo
    Wednesday’s letters to the editor
  4. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
  5. High tide from offshore hurricane Michael creeps up into the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs Wednesday afternoon after the Anclote River backs up. Jim Damaske
    Here’s what readers had to say in Monday’s paper.
  6. Sep. 14• Letters to the Editor
    With his machine gun, a paratrooper of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Brigade advances near Hue at the height of the Vietnam War.
    Here’s what readers had to say in Sunday’s paper.
  7. A replica poster for Juneteenth, signifying the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, is lyrical and poetic in its proclamation "slavery drizzled out of time, blue skies of truth and thrive!" FRED BELLET  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Here’s what readers had to say in Saturday’s paper.
  8. A pipe carrying reclaimed water at the Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tampa.
    These are the letters to the editor from Friday’s paper.
  9. A target is fired at during a class for a concealed handgun license at The Shooting Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas.
    Here’s what readers had to say in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
  10. In June 2010, crews worked to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that washed ashore at Pensacola Beach, a reminder of the dangers of offshore drilling.
    Here are the letters to the editor readers wrote Wednesday.