Monday, March 12, 2012

"Doonesbury" Focuses On Mandatory Ultrasounds And Sonograms

"Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau is concentrating on abortion this week, particularly as Republicans push mandatory ultrasound and sonogram bills in states around the country. Some newspapers are not running the series; the Oregonian said that the series “went over the line of good taste and humor in penning a series on abortion using graphic language and images inappropriate for the comics page.” In one strip, a woman is invited to take a seat in the "shaming room" to wait for a "middle-aged, male state legislator":

The woman is "welcomed" to her mandatory procedure:

Trudeau commented on the series in an interview:

I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women’s health currently being waged in several states. For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice.

...Texas’s HB-15 [bill] isn’t hard to explain: The bill says that in order for a woman to obtain a perfectly legal medical procedure, she is first compelled by law to endure a vaginal probe with a hard, plastic 10-inch wand. The World Health Organization defines rape as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration — even if slight — of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.” You tell me the difference.

...Roe v. Wade was decided while I was still in school. Planned Parenthood was embraced by both parties. Contraception was on its way to being used by 99 percent of American women. I thought reproductive rights was a settled issue. Who knew we had turned into a nation of sluts?

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