1. Opinion

The many problems with Florida’s parental consent abortion bill

Here’s what readers had to say in Wednesday’s letters to the editor
Lucia Hermo, with megaphone, leads chants during a rally against HB 314, the near-total ban on abortion bill, outside of the Alabama State House on Tuesday. [Photo by Mickey Welsh of the Montgomery Advertiser via AP]
Lucia Hermo, with megaphone, leads chants during a rally against HB 314, the near-total ban on abortion bill, outside of the Alabama State House on Tuesday. [Photo by Mickey Welsh of the Montgomery Advertiser via AP]
Published Nov. 19, 2019

Bill would harm abortion access

Parental consent bill may not be in a child’s best interest | Column, Nov. 19

I’m a University of South Florida St. Petersburg student, and I want to make sure that the public knows about SB 404, a bill that would require minors to obtain parental consent to receive an abortion unless they obtain a judicial bypass. If anyone knows how to go through a judicial bypass without having to Google it, let me know. What could possibly be wrong with this, some may think. Some minors may come from families who do not have strong relationships to talk with their parents about getting an abortion. They may be at risk for abuse or be thrown out of their home. The bill also hinders abortion access, impeding timely care. The intent behind this is more than just restricting minors from obtaining an abortion; this is an attack in Florida on Roe vs. Wade. These anti-abortion lawmakers are attempting to overturn Florida’s precedents on privacy laws. This would affect not only Florida residents but women in other states as well who have very limited access to abortion or none at all; Florida is one of the only states in the Southeast that has a strong right to access abortion. Many people depend on Florida for reproductive care. I hope all legislators oppose this bill.

Rebecca Nero, Tampa

Let Montreal share suffering

RayJay doesn’t always look like home for Bucs | Nov. 18

New Orleans Saints fans celebrate a defensive stop of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the red zone on a late drive during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on November 17, 2019, in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Tampa Bay Times]

I’ve noticed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t drawing large crowds. I can’t help but wonder if anyone has broached the idea of having them play half their home games in Montreal to help relieve our agony.

Howard Hilley, Tampa

Smoke clears; vaping goes on

Trump backs off on vaping flavor ban | Nov. 19

President Donald Trump [EVAN VUCCI | AP]

The night before a planned morning news conference, President Donald Trump refused to sign a “decision memo” that would have quelled a youth vaping epidemic that has ensnared 5 million teenagers so far and counting. The article says that “Trump reversed course on a plan to address a major public health problem because of worries that apoplectic vape shop owners and their customers might hurt his reelection prospects.” So as the “smoke” clears, it is plain to see where Trump’s priorities are, and they aren’t for your children’s health and security. As seen in the clear light of day, Trump only cares about Trump.

Peter Barton, St. Petersburg

Fighting human trafficking

Sting targets human trafficking | Nov. 19

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister [TONY MARRERO | Tony Marrero]

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister is committed to slowing down the Tampa Bay area’s unfortunate claim to fame of being a top destination for human trafficking. The three-pronged attack to stop supply, slow demand and help the dysfunctional trafficking victims get needed assistance and counseling is brilliant. Catching more than 100 suspects and the actual traffickers, while rescuing the victims, is a great start.

Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel

Base election on popular vote

The National Popular Vote

We need the National Popular Vote; the bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes. I would abhor a repetition of the 2016 presidential election.

Glo Pogel, Plantation


  1. Leonard Pitts [undefined]
    Leonard Pitts explains that diversity doesn’t happen by itself.
  2. San Francisco has benefited from the growth of nearby Silicon Valley. That metro area added 30,000 jobs in the past year.
    Here’s some interesting commentary from the opposite poles of the political spectrum.
  3. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools this month in Tallahassee. [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER/TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT  |  AP]
    Here’s what readers have to say in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
  4. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waves to members of the Florida Legislature during a joint session of lawmakers this week. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
  5. Presiding Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [AP]
    Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
  6. Jomari DeLeon, is pictured at at Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, Florida August 7, 2019. Jomari is three years into a 15-year sentence for drug trafficking. She sold 48 tablets of prescription tablets over two days to an undercover officer. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times]
    Women, Hispanics and residents from smaller counties are disproportionately serving long drug sentences that are no longer in place.
  7. Thousands of trees line the Hillsborough River near Wilderness park in Hillsborough County in Tampa. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Many of Florida’s problems originate with that ‘motto,’ writes historian Gary Mormino.
  8. First meeting of U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Martin Luther King Jr. and their two wives — Patricia Nixon and Coretta Scott King — during Independence Day celebrations in Accra, Ghana, on March 6, 1957, on the tails of the end of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott. It was the first trip to Africa of all of them. [Photo by Griff Davis on assignment as U.S. Foreign Service Officer by U.S. Information Service (USIS). Copyright and courtesy of Griffith J. Davis Photographs & Archives.]
    Griff Davis’ daughter recounts how the photographer and Foreign Service officer captured a famous photo of King and Richard Nixon.
  9. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman speak at a summit held by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council's Resiliency Coalition this month in St. Petersburg. [LANGSTON TAYLOR  |  Times staff]
    Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman should lead an effort for robust regional transit.
  10. Vehicle traffic is seen along Bayshore Boulevard at a crosswalk at South Dakota Avenue in Tampa. Several intersections have pedestrian-activated beacons.
    A bill would end the confusion and save lives by making crosswalk signals red.