October 16, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Sex ed is important to keep in Florida’s schools

The 2021 Legislature

Sex education is important

Our Florida Legislature will soon be considering SB 410, which intends to make sex education for public school students opt-in instead of opt-out, creating a deliberate lack of awareness for both parents and school-age children. SB 410 takes the archaic position that ignorance is bliss by severely restricting sex education in schools despite polls that indicate 90 percent of both Republican and Democratic parents support our current sex education curriculum.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. SB 410 would force our children to find out about their bodies through trial and error outside of the classroom. How many babies and sexually transmitted infections might result from such legislative shortsightedness? Turning a blind eye to the consequences of this bill is its dangerous flaw.

Objective information yields facts, which engender the freedom to choose responsibly. Isn’t that the directive of our schools? If legislators succeed in passing SB 410, those relying on instructors to provide a comprehensive education for a healthy future will be out of luck.

Catherine Christensen, Sarasota

Vaccine website delivers confusion | Feb. 5

A wait list would be easier

I am outraged at the scheduling process to make an appointment online currently in place for people over the age of 65 to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Three times, on three different occasions with three different venues, both my husband and I have been on two computers attempting to make appointments. All three times we have watched “page will reset in 60 seconds” as thousands of appointments disappear before our eyes. Why can’t they give appointments several weeks in advance and place you on a wait list? Seems like there should be a better way.

Cynthia Vazquez, Oldsmar

Vaccine website delivers confusion | Feb. 5

Take a number, but just once

A simple way to manage the vaccine delivery in a fair way without frustration is to have everyone of every age who wants to be vaccinated sign up in a database and be assigned a priority number. The first two digits of the priority number reflect your age. After that, it is based on when you register. Then each county is given the list of numbers for their county. Then they start vaccinating with the oldest people first and work down, one year at a time. People receive a contact via phone/email/text when they can book an appointment using their number to access the website. Counties can publish the number range they are vaccinating at any point in time so people can see where they stand in the process. We don’t have to make this hard.

Barry Butler, Tarpon Springs

The 2021 Legislature

Eroding abortion rights

In another attempt to slowly erode the right to abortion in Florida, the Legislature has proposed bills (HB 351/SB 744) banning abortions performed after 20 weeks of gestation. In every case, a woman’s decision to seek an abortion is a deeply personal and complicated one to be made in consultation with her doctor, family and her faith, and in the case of a late-term abortion, it is an exceptionally more difficult decision. An abortion after 20 weeks is a very rare occurrence and most often involves severe fetal anomalies, most of which are only detectable at 20 weeks. These are often wanted pregnancies that have gone tragically wrong. The decision to end the pregnancy is never a simple one and it is certainly not one in which a politician should be involved.

Judy Gallizzi, St. Petersburg

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