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Abortion foe insensitive to women's experiences

To the Editor:

There are lots of letters to the editor with which I disagree. Some more than others. Rarely, however, do I read one that insults me personally. Chris Papineau's column ["Abortion is not the answer," Feb. 14] insulted me.

I do not care to argue with Papineau as to when life begins or under what particular circumstances abortions are "justified." I have my own opinion on that. What I object to is the way in which he presents his argument. I do not agree with Richard Lawson '91 ["No one can be sure when life begins," Feb. 17] that Papineau's discussion was "absent of emotional platitudes." And, while I applaud Lindsay Haugland '89 ["Women must have rights over their own bodies," Feb. 17] for her articulate response to Papineau, his references to rape and analogies to the homeless hardly deserved the thought she put into it. I will confine my comments to two specific suggestions.

First of all, if Papineau is going to get anywhere in this crusade of his, he should stay away from any indication that he knows what it is like to be a woman. He is not one and will never know what it is like.

Second, I take issue with Papineau's description of a pregnancy as giving a child "a free ride for nine months." This is not only insensitive, but absolutely absurd. A human body is not a taxicab and child birth is not just something a woman has to be "in the mood" to go through. Carrying a child is a physical and emotional experience that has a profound impact on a woman's life. I will not attempt to present medical evidence for this statement. I would suggest that Papineau speak to a gynecologist about the physiological and psychological impacts that pregnancy and child birth can have on a woman. Better yet, I think Papineau should go ask his mother.

JoAnn Herrigel G->