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Women died from self-induced abortion attempts. We shouldn’t go back.

Here’s what readers have to say in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Rep. Amy Mercado, D - Orlando, an opponent of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, speaks at a press conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. [AILEEN PERILLA  |  AP]
Rep. Amy Mercado, D - Orlando, an opponent of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, speaks at a press conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. [AILEEN PERILLA | AP]
Published Feb. 7

The bad, old days before Roe

Abortion consent legislation advances | Feb. 7

I suspect I am older than many, if not all, Florida lawmakers supporting a bill requiring minors to obtain parental consent for abortions. I vividly remember, in the 1950s, pregnant women throwing themselves down staircases or probing their bodies with wire hangers, in desperate attempts to abort unwanted pregnancies.

Women died or made themselves sterile from self-inflicted abortion attempts. Backstreet abortions were not always performed by doctors, and women took their lives in their hands when they sought such help. In 1973, Roe vs. Wade brought sanity and safety to abortions.

If supporters of the latest attempt to hobble the law are, as they claim, doing it “to ensure abortions are done more safely,” then build bigger, cleaner, more accessible clinics where all women can enter with peace of mind and the assurance that this most gut-wrenching decision will not cost them their privacy or their lives. If this bill passes, underage girls who cannot face their parents and are desperate for an abortion will again seek backstreet charlatans and home-grown methods.

Susan Sussman, Aventura

An abortion dilemma

Opponents of the SB 404, known as the "parental consent" bill, gather at a press conference at the Capitol. [AILEEN PERILLA | AP]

Have the lawmakers taken into account the fact that a significant number of girls are impregnated by a predator from within their own family? What a dilemma for a child.

Tom Reid, Seminole

The right to speak out

Loving it, not leaving it | Letter, Feb. 7

All American citizens have a right to express their opinions. It is the only way to sustain a vibrant democracy. Personally, I have never been shy of stating out loud what my mind and heart believe with the knowledge that I have contributed to this country, and continue to do so, together with my children, not because I want to criticize but because I care.

And yes, I was born and raised in another country, and no, I could not go back, as my country is under Communism.

Irene Prosser, Tarpon Springs

A profile in courage

Courageous vs. contemptible | Column, Feb. 7

People gather in support of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in Salt Lake City. [FRANCISCO KJOLSETH | AP]

Max Boot’s column brought to my mind the book Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy in 1956. The book is a volume of short biographies of acts of bravery and integrity by eight U.S. senators. I believe Sen. Mitt Romney would have been included in this book had the timing coincided. One could see the anguish that Romney went through with his decision on the impeachment of the president. Agree or disagree with him, one has to admit he values honesty and integrity over party.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

A bad death penalty record

Senate bucks death penalty ruling | Jan. 31

I was pleased to read that the Florida Senate is not planning to take our state back to the days when a non-unanimous jury could sentence someone to death. Florida’s record as the leading state for wrongful capital convictions is shameful. Ensuring unanimity in death sentencing is the least we can do to try to avoid more tragedies. Floridians are tired of being an outlier on capital punishment. We want to move forward, not backward. We have much more to do.

Celeste Fitzgerald, Clearwater


  1. In this Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004, file photo, Tiffany Carr, executive director of Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, left, speaks at a news conference held by Gov. Jeb Bush, background right, to announce a public awareness campaign designed to prevent disaster-related domestic violence, in Tallahassee, Fla. On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered an investigation into a nonprofit domestic abuse agency whose CEO, Carr, had received $7.5 million in compensation over a three-year span. (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)
  2. Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
  3. Nurse manager Amy Hunt holds the special stethoscope that allows nurses at Tampa General Hospital to record a heartbeat while they listen to it during a routine exam.
  4. Les Miller, Hillsborough County commissioner and chairman of the county's transit agency board, made the motion to fire chief executive officer Ben Limmer during a special meeting. Only one board member voted no.
  5. Pasco County community news
  6. Dr. Norman Shumway, right with glasses, performs the world's first successful combined heart-lung transplant in Stanford, California, in 1981.
  7. President Donald Trump and then-President Barack Obama arrive for Trump's inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.
  8. A nurse helps a patient.
  9. Pasco County community news
  10. A strawberry picker in eastern Hillsborough County.
  11. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during MLB baseball owners meetings.
  12. The St. Leo University mascot Fritz and an unidentified woman walk towards the new dormitories on the campus of St. Leo University in Dade City.