Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

ULTRASOUND
Sandra Pocius | Kettering, OH | March 16, 2012

I have enjoyed your comic strip for many years. Your portrayal of B.D. and his family’s challenges after he was injured were fantastic! My concern is the strip's discussion on ultrasound. I am a Diagnostic Imaging technologist (though in a former life I was in the Graphics field) and you’ve made an already difficult medical procedure even more stressful for both the technologist and the patient. The fetus is too small to see properly with a transabdominal exam -- we have to use the endovaginal probe or we risk injury to the woman. It is not a shameing rod or rape -- it is a medical procedure, and telling us that we have to use the wrong tool is like me telling you which pens to use.

THE DILEMMA
Consciously Not A Mom Yet | Grass Valley, CA | March 16, 2012

I love these comic strips, and I love this forum. The comments are phenomenal, especially the ones who assume that women who abort are ignorant. I had an abortion. It was agonizing and traumatizing. I wanted the baby, even though the dad I'd been dating had raped me (he took the condom off against my will), knowing that I was against abortion for myself (though I've always been pro choice). And then he threatened me, to pressure me to have an abortion. He got violent, loud, crazy, silent, and even declared that he would take my child away if I had it (yes, I know that doesn't make sense, I said he was crazy).

Faced with the dilemma of bringing a child into that chaos, I decided against it. It broke my heart a thousand times. Yet I am grateful for the choice! I own it, and I'm glad I don't have a child with a crazy man. Now I'm getting my masters, am devoted to my career, and I'm available to start a loving family with a sane man who wants to be kind and present with me and our child. I'm not ignorant, nor a murderer. I'm an intelligent, loving, spiritual woman who made a difficult choice. And I will stand with other women. Keep up the good works!

A LITTLE MIFFED
Dianna Trang | Keller, TX | March 16, 2012

I live in Texas and personally do not take issue with requiring women to have the vaginal sonogram before they can have an abortion. It is, after all, a life being taken, and the women should feel it. But I am a little miffed that the strip isn't being run in many newspapers here. Can Texans not handle a little dissent?

FINANCIAL COST
D.M. | Tacoma, WA | March 16, 2012

One aspect of this whole stupidity that I haven't really seen a lot of discussion on, is the financial cost of this unnecessary procedure. If a woman is lucky enough to have medical insurance that covers abortions, she's still out of pocket for her co-pay and deductible for a totally unnecessary procedure. If she doesn't have insurance, this puts an even higher burden on her. The gods help her if she's poor on top of it. This is just another way to discriminate not only against women, but especially poor women.

VIOLATES ROE V. WADE
Alexis | Pittsburgh, PA | March 16, 2012

This legislation violates Roe v Wade, which was decided on an implied Constitutional right to privacy between a woman and her physician. The correct course of action would be that any physician should ignore this legislation, and any other legislation that comes between him/her and the patient. The doctor's first concern should be with the patient's well being.

NO END
Mike Strickland | El Dorado, ARKANSAS | March 16, 2012

A woman who aborts is going against the evolutionary imperative of millions of years. But she is improving the human gene pool, in a Darwinian sense. It is not the government's business one way or another, unless you believe that life begins at some arbitrary point, after which it would be manslaughter. I suspect there will be no end to this controversy.

THESE STRIPS
Kathy Churay | Chicago, IL | March 16, 2012

Thank you so much for doing these strips on the transvaginal ultrasound legislation. For a time years ago, I worked in the recovery room at a Planned Parenthood where women were helped through the first hour or two following an abortion. I can assure you that no woman I saw took it lightly, either before or afterward. In almost every case the women I saw were both sad and resolved about their decision, and needed support afterward. I can only imagine the trauma if they had been forced to undergo this procedure first.

I have had a transvaginal ultrasound as a diagnostic procedure, and it was barely tolerable even under that benign circumstance. Until you have had a foreign object stuck into you and moved around, you haven't experienced helplessness. Sex itself is a totally different experience, so the argument that this "should" be a simple procedure can only hold up if you've never undergone one. The only possible intent of this law is to intimidate, frighten and rape women into changing their minds. The fact that it's done by medical personnel in white coats can't change the clear intention. Edmund Burke, the Irish statesman who died in 1797, nailed it all those years ago: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." There's an election coming up. Let's do something.

G5P2
Sage Femme | Ypsilanti, MI | March 16, 2012

I'm a G5P2, which means that I've had five pregnancies and two births. I had two abortions and a miscarriage, and have worked in abortion and birth care since 1997. I believe more than ever in the need for choice, for my daughter to have the choices I had, without violating the undue burden clause of the Webster decision. This new flurry of anti-choice laws violates that clause.

Along with being an experienced and educated health care provider, I'm a rape survivor. While TVUS isn't exactly the same experience, it's quite triggering for many survivors, and it is rarely medically necessary. Ultrasound is fairly routine, but isn't needed for safe care in every case. What is more disturbing is what this says about our culture: that women's rights are political capital, that the fetus is paramount (until birth, at which point we'll stop funding WIC and Head Start and the schools), that my daughter's bodily autonomy matters less than that of my son. This is wrong. Thank you so much for pointing it out, and the fact that so many papers shy away from it underscores how very true this political satire is.

STALE
Joel Kayne | Cameron Park, CA | March 16, 2012

I'm sorry, I thought your strip had gotten stale until today's homage to Rick Perry. I laughed out loud! Thanks for that. Sorry I was unfaithful. I need to be counseled on how wrong I've been. There ought a be a law!

WAY PAST TIME
Sarah Roche-Mahdi | Cambridge, MA | March 16, 2012

Heartfelt thanks from one who was on the front lines as clinic defender and AB counselor back in the struggles of the late 1980s through mid-'90s. It's way past time for American women to rise up by the millions and speak out as strongly and truthfully as you have.

PRE-NATAL CARE
B.N. | GEORGIA | March 16, 2012

Our adopted son did not have good pre-natal care, resulting in neurological deficiencies. I promise you, he has felt way more pain way more often in his life due to this, than any fetus being aborted will ever feel. Denying or dissuading women from having abortions is not a solution in itself to eliminate the pain of innocent children. Assistance needs to be there to ensure a healthy pre-natal experience, and both assistance and adoptive families need to be there for the children that are born with lifelong difficulties because their mothers either didn't want to be pregnant or did not / could not provide a safe womb for their developing child.

INTERVENTION
Alex C. | Southampton, UK | March 16, 2012

I note a previous poster's comment suggesting that Texas should be the next beneficiary of US military intervention. Whilst I do not speak for HM Government, I imagine that should the issue of Texas' compulsory sonograms be highlighted to the public over here, we Brits would be right behind you, especially given how chummy Obama and "Call Me Dave" Cameron have become this week. Syria can wait.

OFFENSIVE
Maureen Bonney | Ocean Township, NJ | March 16, 2012

Trudeau's strip is certainly offensive: it is meant to be. It speaks truth, and the offense is not in his reporting and commenting on the truth, but of the laws being criticized.

TEXANS
J.R. Kerr | Dallas, TX | March 16, 2012

Thanks for fightin' Rick Perry for us. Speaking as a Texan I won't bore you with "Not all Texans are bad," because obviously the ones that aren't bad are too weak to stop the ones who are.

INFORMED AND ANNOYED
Emily Anglin | CANADA | March 16, 2012

From this servicewoman: thank you for these strips. They may not be PC and they have obviously offended a number of people, but we are better informed and annoyed than ignorant and blissful.

INFLAMES AND DIVIDES
Karl K. | San Diego, CA | March 16, 2012

I'm a moderate/conservative who really enjoys your comics as a chance for introspection and a good laugh, sometimes at the expense of what I myself believe. I'm emailing you today, however, because I believe your abortion comics were a bridge too far. Please don't misunderstand me; their transgression pales in comparison to the subject matter they portray. However, I'm disappointed because I believe your choice to venture into the conversation this way (inside the clinics) only further inflames and divides people on the issue. In my opinion it's this inflamed gulf that led to such an abominable set of policies. I am myself pro-life, but my pro-choice wife and I have come to realize that when this subject is thrust into the arena of combat politics, everyone loses. I'm sad that you took a low road here.

INSIGHTFUL AND SEARING
Trevor Hughes | Redwood City, CA | March 16, 2012

Thank you, Garry, for your columns this week on Texas's "state rape" law -- insightful and searing socio-political satire, as always. Oh, and pretty damn funny too.

FORGOTTEN
Carol Harder | Mansfield, OH | March 16, 2012

So many young people have no clue what women went through before Roe v Wade. I’d like to see you run a strip depicting what we’d be dealing with if the Republicans succeed in taking our rights away (instead of just continuing to chip away at them). The whole scenario -- coat hangers, unmarked bills, dark alleys and back rooms. Too many people have forgotten.

HEARST NEWSPAPERS
Robert C. Harris | Danbury, CT | March 15, 2012

Our local paper gets their product into the Danbury public schools through a program called Newspapers in Education (NIE). I was quite surprised on Monday morning when I realized that The News Times, a Hearst newspaper, chose not to run the controversial abortion strip series. This is the same publication that brought former President Bill Clinton's sexual antics into our homes and schools in 1998. How many family dinners were challenged with conversations about oral sex? People will remember Monica Lewinsky long after a forgotten Gov. Rick Perry leaves office. It was wrong for Hearst Newspapers to remove and replace this strip.

ANTI-OCCUPY
Marcia M. | Boulder, CO | March 15, 2012

I've changed my Twitter image to a Scarlet Letter. Thanks to Garry Trudeau for coming up with the symbol of an anti-Occupy movement: Keep your government probes out of our bodies!