A clean, well-lit place to vent
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I have had two abortions. Both times, birth control failed -- it is not infallible. Both took place in Texas, and because I was young and broke, I went to Planned Parenthood for assistance. I knew what I was doing both times. I did not take it lightly. The women who were there with me were as frightened and sad as I was. The staff was kind and understanding. No one has/had the right to tell me what I could do or not do when it comes to my body. Not the father of the child, not the government...no one. Thanks for the very clear message you are sending. Women are listening. We vote. There has never been a time more important to go to the polls and pull that lever. Politicians like Rick Perry only serve if we let them. OCCUPY your own body, I say.
Not only are these state "mandatory ultrasound" laws a violation of Roe v Wade, they are also infringing on a physician's Hippocratic Oath and a patient's right to give consent to any procedure without shame, legal or financial penalty. When will physicians in all these GOP-run states rise up and just refuse to comply? Put your patients first, physicians. Get the government out of your exam rooms.
One of the worst things about this law is that is doesn't even apply to everyone in Texas. Anyone with the money (including, of course, the families of the legislature) can go out of state for an abortion. This law only fully impacts poor women and very young women without resources of their own -- the people who often can't even afford to have the baby. This can't be Constitutional.
It's absolutely right to complain about the Republicans' draconian approach to unwanted babies growing up neglected etc. But is the solution for an unwanted baby to kill it? Something's a little skewey in the logic. The human race is falling apart: we don't even want our children any more if "we can't afford them," and we think the solution is to just kill them at the start? Hey, wake up!
Thank you for your strips regarding the Texas law, although I almost cried when I read the one today. I had no idea that Rick Perry was so evil, and I come from a state where two of our former governors are in prison.
Thanks for your strips, especially this last week's worth. I've read your strip since I was a kid, and even before I understood the political humor, it made me think about the world I live in. I can't thank you enough for showcasing the assault on women's rights that's taking place throughout the country right now, and for having the courage to make us all uncomfortable about what's going on. My mom has been raped several times in her life, and I once sat with her while she had a trans-vaginal ultrasound for diagnostic purposes. I'm here to tell you all that she told me it felt like getting raped, even though it was a diagnostic procedure that she consented to. I've never had to face the agonizing decision of whether or not to get pregnant because I've been lucky not to get pregnant yet (I use the word luck because I'm in no financial shape to care for a child or a pregnant me), but I stand with a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. Pro-choice is not anti-life. The campaign to control women's bodies is cruel, dogmatic, patriarchal, and shaming, and I'm so glad that it's getting the resistance it deserves.
I appreciate your viewpoint and your support for women. It doesn't matter to me if not all required sonograms will involve vaginal probes. It's still punitive to force women to look at pictures. I really don't believe that anyone seeking an abortion does not know that a fetus which could become a child resides in her uterus.
I knew the GOP favored small government; I just didn't realize it was supposed to be small enough to get into my vagina.
Thank you for your Doonesbury pieces on the Texas law. I've been reading the strip all week (well actually for years) in the San Jose Mercury News, but this is the first time I've bothered to write and thank you. It's been entertaining (and sad) commentary.
While I'm at it, I'd like to add that for the Catholic Church to be opposed to birth control in this day and age is downright irresponsible. I say this as a woman who was raised Catholic, enjoyed my Catholic grade school and graduated from the University of Notre Dame. My mother had five kids and even she used birth control -- just imagine if she hadn't!?! There is a clear link between how many children a woman has and the health and wealth of her family. I can't image why anyone would take family planning advice from a bunch of old, celibate men; but it makes me angry because the women who may be influenced are the same women who can ill afford a large number of children. Whew -- got that off my chest. Keep on writing.
I had to go online to read Thursday's strip, as the Miami Herald refused to publish it. Frankly, I am saddened by the refusal to print, as that particular strip is the most poignant in the series. Whether one is for or against abortion, the Texas legislation must be recognized as the assault on freedom that it truly is, and ultimately must be overturned. Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, for your defense of the American people and their civil rights.
Some of us pro-lifers don´t support government intrusion in the doctor-patient relationship. From over here in Europe, it seems the GOP base and its conservative representatives like Perry, Gingrich, Santorum and Palin have gone mad.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!