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As suggested in one of the comments, the Gemara is describing an exegetical rule, rather than a principle of erring to the side of stringency when in doubt. This understanding is supported by the gemara's alternative answer there: איבעית אימא הכא תרי איסורי והכא תרי איסורי ותרי מתרי ילפינן אבל הכא חדא איסורא ותרי מחדא לא ילפינן If you prefer, however, I ...


See the Minchas Chinuch mitzvah 32 after he lists all 39 melachos, right after Hotzaah, page 177 in the new editions, he goes into pikuach nephesh he says the Rambam and most poskim (according to the Kessef Mishna) hold it is dechuyah while Rabbeinu Meir brought in the Rosh say it Hutrah.


Nice question. Tosfos there deal with a similar question that I believe would answer yours, too: מה אחות אשה מיוחדת כו'. וא''ת מה לאחות אשה שכן בידו לרבות כדפריך בפ' הבא על יבמתו (לקמן דף נד. ושם) וי''ל דאהיקש דר' יונה דסוף שמעתין (דף ח.) סמיך According to Tosfos, this Gemara is working a tandem with the hekesh of R' Yona which specifically signals to us ...

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