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posted: 3/18/2014 5:01 AM

Pregnancy should not be a punishment

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Mr. Peter Gennuso stated in a Feb. 26 letter that I failed to note in my own letter about "body sovereignty" that when a woman engages in sex, she has implicitly agreed to the potential consequences including nurturing an unborn life. It is not a valid argument, so there was no reason to acknowledge it. Women should not be punished for having sex.

We have seen this before with the vaccine for human papillomavirus. HPV is the most common STD; 6.2 million people women are infected each year. HPV causes cervical cancer, and 3,700 women die from it each year. When Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, was invented, the Christian right was against its distribution. They argued that the vaccine would encourage women to have sex. They wanted to punish women with death by cervical cancer for having sex outside of marriage.

Pregnancy is supposed to be a wonderful experience, not a punishment for having sex. And Mr. Gennuso is assuming all sex is consensual. The National Women's Law Center found that new restrictions on abortions do not make exceptions for rape. Out of 273 abortion limitation laws proposed by state legislators, 235 had no rape exception.

Women should not be punished for having sex with either forced pregnancy or cervical cancer.

John Morgan

Arlington Heights

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