Yes on carbon tax
Good for the Florida Legislature for talking about climate change. Sadly, as reporter Zachary T. Sampson’s piece mentions, lawmakers are only talking about treating effects. We need to address the cause. We need to stop burning carbon-based fuels. The simplest way to achieve that goal is a national tax on carbon fuels. A policy which taxes carbon and returns all money collected back to citizens would be effective and fair. Most people would benefit economically. U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney recently spoke in favor of this approach. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable support pricing carbon, as do many Americans. Our state leadership needs to encourage Congress to act on the cause of climate change, not just mitigate.
Kaley Conner, Clearwater
Dangerous bills for women
The 2021 legislative session
Compassionate and respectful health care is a human right. Women who are 20 or more weeks pregnant deserve that right. SB 744 and HB 351 are dangerous bills that threaten not only the right to health care, both also to privacy and dignity by banning all abortions at 20 weeks or more. Health care decisions should be made by the women in consultation with their health care providers and others they trust, without politicians’ interference. Abortions after 20 weeks are rare. They often involve fetal anomalies and serious risks to the woman’s life. These are often wanted pregnancies that have gone tragically wrong. Parents have painted the nursery and folded the diapers, anticipating with the family the new arrival.
Physicians also oppose these attempts to infringe upon patients’ rights because the arguments are not based on scientific evidence. Even the name of the bill, “Protection of Pain-Capable Unborn Child from Abortion,” contradicts science. SB744 and HB351 prevent doctors from providing quality, essential health care to their patients. If Florida prohibits abortions at or beyond 20 weeks, patients will have to travel many hours to receive the health care they need and deserve, adding more burdens to an already very challenging and often life-threatening situation.
We oppose these inhumane bills. Don’t let the Legislature take away compassionate, respectful health care from women who need it most. Legislators should focus on Florida’s real health care needs, like Medicaid expansion and COVID-19 vaccinations.
Sandy Freedman, Arthenia Joyner, Alex Sink; Linda L. Fleming, Nancy Natilson, Juli Robbins Greenwald (current board members, Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida) and H. Sara Golding Scher (past board member)
Time for change
Now that the Pasco school district has gotten hit in the wallet for the wrongheaded actions by Sheriff Chris Nocco, maybe something will finally be done in both the Sheriff’s Office and the school district. The actions by both these offices are reprehensible and need to be dealt with at once. Remember silence is approval.
Al Buchanan, New Port Richey