Cartoonist Gary Trudeau has come under fire for a comic strip that critiques the state measures to restrict abortion access. The storyline slated for this week’s Doonesbury comic follows a woman attempting to procure an abortion in Texas where she meets slut-shaming and is forced to undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Papers such as the Kansas City Star and the Los Angeles Times have chosen not to publish the comic in the usual section, and will instead move it to the op-ed pages due to its content. As Trudeau told the Guardian, this move from the comic pages will diminish the strip’s readership. He also defends his choice to use his comic to critique the recent impositions on reproductive freedom:
Trudeau wrote: “Ninety-nine percent of American women have or will use contraception during their lifetimes. To see these healthcare rights systematically undermined in state after state by the party of ‘limited government’ is appalling. “In Texas, the sonograms are the least of it. The legislature has also defunded women’s health clinics all over the state, leaving 300,000 women without the contraceptive services that prevent abortions in the first place. Insanity.”
I think it is extremely commendable of Trudeau to use his medium to tackle abortion restriction. The steps some states have taken recently are completely absurd and infringe on women’s rights to control her own body. As this strip shows, they are based in moral ideologies that shame women’s personal choices, rather than in any interest for her health or well-being. I hope papers have the bravery to print this comic rather than censor it, even in the face of its controversial content.
I will try to post the remainder of the comics in this series if I find them. If anyone sees them, please shoot us an email!