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Letters to the editor about Black Lives Matter and Florida's new abortion restrictions

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Last week's cover story concerned the 400-foot-long street painting reading "Black Lives Matter" installed by the city on Rosalind Avenue across from Lake Eola Park. Some felt it was a positive affirmation of the city's commitment to fight racism, while others would rather see systemic change in the Orlando Police Department and other city and county agencies. Graffiti reading "not enough" and "defund OPD," among other phrases, was spray-painted on the mural within 24 hours.

@Al Alfano It's an empty gesture that does nothing. Removing statues does nothing. Changing names of streets, cities, buildings does nothing. I'm really tired of this.

@Kim Burns If I am not mistaken the streets belong to all Orlando citizens. There should have been a vote on how to use our 22,000 dollars. I would not have voted to place a mural that represents an organization of hate and left wing agendas. The co-founders of BLM do not hide their hate ... trained MARXIST, we will burn the system down, abolish the police. This should not be on our streets. How about using $22,000 to feed the people that have out of work since March. There is an idea.

@Thomas Swetitsch I definitely agree that there is work to do. Painting the street is pandering. Having citizens sitting with police, church leaders and local community leaders to discuss how we move forward to live together with respectful and peaceful while addressing the real issues is how we solve this. We cannot leave this to be resolved solely by our politicians. Most of them don't really care.

@Jessica Sanders If they could follow up this gesture with some real talk about changing the police departments policies – making each policeman punishable for their actions, demilitarize them, punishment for no body-cam footage, all the things that Colorado put on their bill and passed – then we would be making steps in the correct direction.

Gov. Ron DeSantis last week signed a bill that will require parental consent before minors can have abortions, a long-sought goal of abortion opponents in Florida. Supporters say parents need to be involved when their underage daughters consider having abortions. But opponents contend the parental-consent requirement will endanger teens who could be subject to retribution or abuse if their parents find out they are pregnant or considering an abortion. Worse, it could open the door to a reinterpretation of the right to a safe and legal abortion in Florida.

@Patricia Garrett The idea that adults own children's bodies until they turn 18 is gross.

@Savannah Vrana So minors aren't old enough to decide on their own if they want an abortion, but they're old enough to carry a baby against their will for nine months, go through the literal trauma of childbirth, and then either make the decision to adopt the baby away or raise another human? Makes sense.

@Brittney Owens This is what I've always thought about conservatives. They're all "ban big government and respect the constitution" until it comes to who you can marry and a woman's body. Go figure.

@Natasha Cocco You'll allow a minor to drive, but not allow them to make decisions about their own body. Way to suppress women.

@Lauren Stockner Where are all the "my body my choice" people now? The people that refuse to wear a mask are probably the same people who agree with restricting abortion ... they don't get the irony.

@Patience Zerow The ones appropriating the "my body" slogan for anti-masks know what they're saying. They want to "own the libs."

@Debra A. Choyce The court system has a way to handle this already for underage girls. This is unnecessary. How would you feel if your parents made you have a child you didn't want? It's crap.

@Rosemary Baker I am in no way pro-abortion, but I staunchly believe that this is a highly personal decision, strictly between two people only, and that the government and outside pressures have no say-so in the situation.

@Tracy Carpenter So what happens to the guys who get these girls knocked up? If she's forced to have the baby then the boy and his family should be obligated to help support it as well. Oh wait, this is about restricting women's rights, not men's.

@Jack Sessa These teens will find a way, and then their safety and health will really be at risk.

@Norman J. Pardo As a parent, I will tell other parents this. If your kid is afraid to come to you and had to hide a pregnancy and abortion from you, then the problem isn't with the child. It's with you. This law is ridiculous.

@John DiBenedetto More of your tax dollars getting burned up in court battles trying to defend an unconstitutional bill that will just get struck down.

@Jack Teal What a lame distraction from the failure he is dealing with COVID-19.

@Nickolas Aaron Cheap political theater and election year culture war politics. He's attempting to stir up the crazies during an election year. DeSantis is a true deplorable.

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