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  1. Opinion

Strong views on abortion from our readers

Here’s what readers had to say in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
(left to right) Nupar Godbole, medical student at USF, and Tiffany Damm, medical student at UCF, take part in a papaya workshop at the University of South Florida Medical Students for Choice Second Annual Florida Regional Conference held in the Morsani College of Medicine on February 24, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. Some of the instruments used in abortions, like the manual vacuum aspirator, are used in an exercise with a papaya, to simulate an abortion. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
(left to right) Nupar Godbole, medical student at USF, and Tiffany Damm, medical student at UCF, take part in a papaya workshop at the University of South Florida Medical Students for Choice Second Annual Florida Regional Conference held in the Morsani College of Medicine on February 24, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. Some of the instruments used in abortions, like the manual vacuum aspirator, are used in an exercise with a papaya, to simulate an abortion. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Nov. 16

Why I’m a pro-life doctor

On abortion’s front lines: a choice, a calling | Nov. 10

Abortion is the most divisive issue for our nation. It is not far-fetched to assume that had Hillary Clinton shown some empathy for people who are uncomfortable with abortion, we would have a very competent woman as president instead of an incompetent narcissist. Next time you dedicate an article to abortion, it would be a big service to consider these questions: (1) Do we know when life begins? (2) What does the Bible teach about abortion (many of your readers may be surprised to learn that the books of Genesis and Exodus do not condemn abortion, nor does Thomas Aquinas, the most prominent Christian theologian). (3) Does the unique relation of a woman and her fetus give her a unique right to decide how to end her pregnancy? (4) Since it is not realistic to assume that outlawing abortion will stop abortion (or even decrease the numbers of abortions) would it not be better to allow safe abortion to protect the woman life? (5) Could you trust the same practitioner who performs abortions with the care of your own baby?

As a physician and as a scientist, I believe that life begins at conception and for that reason I joined the pro-life movement. I have been very distressed to see so many unsavory characters who don’t give a blip for human life, to start with the president, showcase themselves as champions of life. And I am more than willing to listen to the reasons of Dr. A. Jewell and the other health providers described in this article. I just would like to ask that adequate space be provided to different points of view. Advocacy is not the best way to heal our divisions and to learn to respect each other, especially at a time of national emergency.

Dr. Lodovico Balducci, Tampa

What a ‘calling’ really is

On abortion’s front lines: a choice, a calling | Nov. 10

A “calling” is spending your life in the pursuit of good, like feeding the homeless, working for social justice or giving your life to God. You might say helping poor women with an unwanted pregnancy is a “calling.” Yes, if it is to provide help, like access to adoption, financial aid, a job, and/or child care — not performing abortions. I don’t want to be heartless. People make mistakes, things happen, but when they do, isn’t it always better to turn these mistakes into opportunities for good, something that we can be proud of? If the problem is poverty, can we provide financial help? If it is not being able to keep the baby, due to youth, a non-supportive partner, or just inconvenience, surely making that baby available to an adoptive family would turn this mistake into a blessing for someone else? No one wants women to use knitting needles or caustic chemicals and become infected or die as a result of a pregnancy. Abortion just doesn’t need to be the default answer. Shouldn’t we be putting our efforts into really helping women and babies? That is a choice and a calling.

Evelyn Grosch, Largo

A very personal choice

Thank you for recognizing the doctors who understand that choosing an abortion is a very personal choice. There are many reasons a woman chooses the abortion option. Shame on those who threaten these doctors and their work. Shame on legislators who limit a woman’s access to the full range of family-planning options. Shame on medical schools and providers who fail to recognize the need for training and the dangers of adverse outcomes when abortion access is not available.

Rosemary Seaman, Dunedin

Creating other options

We must come together to reduce the major reasons women and girls think abortion is their only real solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Because for most, it is. We should support all the choices that would make bringing a pregnancy to term not only preferred but, desired. That includes private and public programs that enable youth to be exposed to comprehensive sex education, safe and affordable birth control, affordable opportunities to continue education/training for living-wage jobs, affordable high-quality child care options and good health care. It’s unfortunate that the majority who oppose abortion also oppose this support — and then vote for candidates who oppose these supports as well. If people were really “pro-life,” we would not have poverty and inequitable opportunity. In turn, it’s unfortunate that abortion supporters try to justify abortion without regard to the life of the unborn and dismiss the many people who authentically believe it’s murder, rather than supporting choices that are not abortion and respecting that position as having merit. Finally, abortion needs to remain legal (to regulate its safety) for those who may have legitimate reasons.

A. O’Brien, Pinellas Park

Taking responsibility

When did we as a society stop taking responsibility for ourselves? Contraception has been available for decades. When did we start believing life was as disposable as a paper coffee cup? Are there times when abortion should be performed? Probably yes. But elective abortion because you are too self-absorbed in what’s convenient for you? No.

Patricia Dalton, Clearwater

Thanks for thanking me

Veterans share silent bond | Column, Nov. 10

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is lit up in patriotic red white and blue colors in honor of Veteran's Day 2019. [BOYZELL HOSEY | Tampa Bay Times]

I thank those who thank me for my service. I thank the Air Force for allowing me to serve. My service, my obligation and my pleasure was to serve. It was the best job I’ve ever had.

David Chambers, Hudson

Three-hour limit is better

No more free parking in St. Pete core | Nov. 8

Cars park along First Avenue S in St. Petersburg. [DANIEL FIGUEROA IV | Tampa Bay Times]

I do not object to parking meters active 24/7. However, the two-hour limit is not long enough for most tasks. A three-hour limit would provide enough time for a movie or a leisurely dinner at a restaurant, shopping, etc. Our City Council should increase the maximum time on the parking meters to three hours.

Alfred May, St. Petersburg

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