Please take a seat in the shaming room.
In its 40-plus years as a syndicated comic strip Doonesbury has seen a fair share of controversy.
This week it sees it again. Starting today with the strip above, Doonesbury author Gary Trudeau satirizes various legislative attempts across the United States to make women undergo ultrasounds before getting an abortion.
The result, a number of newspapers such as the Kansas City Star will not be running the strip but instead replace it with archives provided by Universal Uclick, Doonesbury’s syndicator.
Others, such as the Los Angeles Times are moving the strip off the “family friendly” comics pages to its editorial page.
Via The Guardian:
The strip deals specifically with a law introduced in Texas and other states requiring a woman who wants to have an abortion to have an ultrasound scan, or sonogram, which will show an image of the foetus and other details, in an attempt to make her reconsider.
It portrays a woman who turns up at an abortion clinic in Texas and is told to take a seat in “the shaming room”. A state legislator asks if she has been at the clinic before and, when she says she had been to get contraceptives, he replies: “Do your parents know you’re a slut?”
Later, she says she does not want an intrusive vaginal examination but is told by a nurse: “The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10-inch shaming wand.” The nurse adds: “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”
In an email to the Guardian, Trudeau writes, “I write the strip to be read, not removed. And as a practical matter, many more people will see it in the comics page than on the editorial page.”
Image: Doonesbury, March 12, 2012. The first in a weeklong series that tackles proposed abortion laws.
Click to embiggen.