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  1. Opinion

Floridians’ privacy rights are at risk on abortion and elsewhere

Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor
Opponents of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, gather at a press conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. The bill requires girls under the age of 18 get a parent's consent before having an abortion and was approved Wednesday in its final committee stop. (AP Photo/Aileen Perilla) [AILEEN PERILLA  |  AP]
Opponents of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, gather at a press conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. The bill requires girls under the age of 18 get a parent's consent before having an abortion and was approved Wednesday in its final committee stop. (AP Photo/Aileen Perilla) [AILEEN PERILLA | AP]
Published Jan. 27

Privacy rights are really at risk

Historic case continues to impact talks on abortion | Jan. 26

Since the right to privacy clause was added to the Florida Constitution in 1980, citizens have been protected from political interference in private matters, including access to abortion. Legislators and activists who oppose abortion rights have been trying to weaken or eliminate the privacy clause ever since and the latest effort is the rush to pass legislation requiring parental consent for abortion. In addition to endangering already at-risk young people, this legislation is just the first step in a much larger plan to have our constitutional right to privacy re-interpreted to no longer safeguard access to abortion. What other areas of privacy might be re-interpreted next?

Judy Gallizzi, St. Petersburg

Natural law as pro-life

Trump headlines annual March for Life gathering | Jan. 24

President Donald Trump speaks at a "March for Life" rally on the National Mall in Washington. [PATRICK SEMANSKY | AP]

President Donald Trump said, “Together, we must protect, cherish and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life.” The late Jérôme Lejeune was a great humanitarian, a French pediatrician and geneticist who discovered the chromosome abnormality in humans that causes Down syndrome. He defined four pro-life terms within the natural law: “Contraception is to make love without a child. Artificial fertilization is to make a child without making love. Abortion is to unmake the child. Pornography is to unmake love. All of these, to varying degrees, are incompatible with natural law.”

Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel

Supporting life after birth

Historic case continues to impact talks on abortion | Jan. 26

I understand the passion people like state Sen. Kelli Stargel have for the “unborn,” but many of their other policy positions don’t do much to support babies once the fetus becomes an infant. Poor, unwed mothers who decide to carry their pregnancies to term will likely need Medicaid, food stamps and other forms of public aid that conservatives are opposed to expanding and, often, have tried to cut. There’s a huge difference between being “pro-birth” and “pro-life.” If these anti-abortion proposals become law, I would like to hear how they plan to help the “newborn.”

Joseph Brown, Tampa

Popular vote, electoral vote

Defense: no evidence | Jan. 26

Personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, speaks during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol. [AP]

During the impeachment trial on Saturday one member of President Donald Trump’s team accused the House managers of wanting to deny the will of the voters. If he was speaking of the 2016 presidential election, the will of the majority favored Hillary Clinton. The antiquated Electoral College gave the presidency to the candidate chosen by a minority of voters.

Rod Palmateer, Clearwater

Find it on a map

Pompeo lashes out at journalist over Ukraine | Jan. 26

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a visit to an anti-narcotics police base in Bogota, Colombia. [IVAN VALENCIA | AP]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly into another room after an interview and bullied the Harvard graduate (with a master’s degree in European studies from Cambridge) into identifying Ukraine on a map. My question is, did he ever ask the same question of the president?

Ann Jamieson, St. Petersburg

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  9. The Florida Senate is taking one step forward this year on criminal justice reform – requiring racial and ethnic impact statements for legislation we consider, writes State Sen. Jeff Brandes.
  10. Joey Cousin, a transgender student from Broward county and an opponent of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, speaks at a press conference at the Capitol. The bill requires girls under the age of 18 get a parent's consent before having an abortion was approved Wednesday in its final committee stop.
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