I’ve often told people that I learn what’s going on in America by alternatively watching Fox News and The Daily Show. That’s not quite true. I also read Doonesbury.
And it seems that this augist strip will be tackling a topic covered by both of those other institutions, Texan legislation supported by Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry, that demands that women undergo a transvaginal exam and ultrasound scan before they have an abortion. Basically confronting the patient with the reality of the stage of their pregnancy in an invasive manner, no matter what the context. Basicaly trying to shame them into not having an abortion and continuing the pregnancy, at a time when the patient may be in a very vulnerable mental state.
The strip will tackle this topic through the next week, in which a woman is guided through the process by a Republican state lawmaker before being asked to sit in the “shaming room.”
As a result, and as expected, a number of newspapers have pulled the strip for a week, running reprints instead. But one newspaper has come up woth a different solution, running the controversial strip online, but the replacement strip in the paper, citing different audience expectations for each.
The last time Trudeau tackled the topic in the eighties, parodying the anti-abortion video The Silent Scream, the syndicate pulled the strip from newspapers – though I remember reading it as a twelve year old in the British newspaper, the Guardian. This time the syndicate is fully behind the strip, though offering alternatives to sensitive marketplaces.