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Today on Context Florida: Republican debates, death penalty and falling teen pregnancy rates

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Today on Context Florida:

Martin Dyckman says the Republican debates might say a lot about who shouldn’t be president, but almost nothing about which of the 16 might deserve to be. For all but a few moments, the tedious brawl last week was to good government as a demolition derby is to auto safety. It’s hard to disagree with Marco Rubio’s take on the event: “We had a three-hour debate, no discussion about the national debt, very little about the economy, It was a constant he-said-she-said, what do you say because so-and-so called you this name or that name.”

Julie Delegal’s opposition to the death penalty has nothing to do with fighting for the lives of convicted murderers. She opposes the death penalty because chasing vengeance drains the very life out of us. It debases us; it distorts our focus and diverts our attention toward those who deserve it least: the murderers. And it burns scores of millions of dollars in the process.

According to Dr. Marc Yacht, teen pregnancy rates for girls 15 to 19 years old have fallen in the United States in direct relation to extensive preventive efforts. Those efforts include discussions about responsible sexual behavior, birth control pills, IUDs, the patch, abstention, vaginal rings, injectable birth control and the extensive network of family planning and women’s health services. It would be tragic indeed to see family planning services fall victim to ideologies resulting in the reversal of teen pregnancy prevention and the increase in all unwanted pregnancies, he says.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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