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.

THE SCARLET LETTER
Paul Harmon | San Francisco, CA | March 13, 2012

The scarlet letter on the back of the clipboard is that extra little bit of genius that makes us really love your wonderful cartoons.

UNACCEPTABLE ORCHESTRATIONS
B.L. | Portland, OR | March 13, 2012

In this tiny portion of a comic strip, composed of well-established ink strokes which conduct a great regard for humanity, is a portrait of a young woman, 2012. A young woman navigating a process, most difficult in itself, while being expected to accommodate and navigate the entitled perspectives of her detractors. These detractors, in the name of being "Pro-Life," aim to degrade her life and forever brand her medical records with ultrasound embryonic imagery for daring to make this autonomous decision. Thank you, Garry Trudeau, for giving voice to this young woman, and for staging this scenario that allows us to witness and out these oppressive and unacceptable orchestrations. This young woman is not alone, and we will not accept the establishment of "modern day Mary Magdalenes," buried to the neck in the sands of intolerance in order to be stoned. We will not allow this.

NO LONGER SUBSCRIBE
John C. Goodrich | Mystic, CT | March 13, 2012

Your cartoons are sick and disgusting. I no longer subscribe to our local newspaper because of trash like this.

DISTURBING
Jill Lee Williams | Owensboro, KY | March 13, 2012

I read your cartoon which suggests that Old White Men are in no way able to make laws concerning women. I personally find it disturbing that men such as yourself want to keep women dumb and in the dark. A woman having an abortion deserves to have all the facts! For some reason men like yourself seem quite uneducated when it comes to women's health, but boy do you love a soap box. As for making fun of the men that pass the laws so women can have all the facts, it was Americans that voted them into their positions. I'm hoping you'll take some time to help women, instead of trying to keep us uneducated about our own bodies.

REACH OUT
Jana | Lowell, MA | March 13, 2012

I've read the strip for years, but the current story arc has me wanting to reach out. Thank you for writing about this and putting the situation into an extremely tangible, accessible form. It's nice to know that it isn't just women clamoring against the ridiculousness in Texas, and elsewhere.

INTERESTING
A.J. | Boston, MA | March 13, 2012

Almost as interesting as your strips, Mr. Trudeau, have been some of these Blowback posts. I'm not sure I quite understand why people who've hated your work their entire lives spend time each and every day reading it. And yet, they continue to do so. How very strange.

A DIFFERENT THING
Noemi | Lafayette, IN | March 13, 2012

Sure, intra-vaginal sonograms are minimally invasive when you choose to have one, or when your doctor tells you it's necessary. And I know whereof I speak. But it's quite a different thing to have some legislator decree that you must allow some thing to penetrate you, all so that you might be shamed into acquiescing to his will. The idea that women seeking abortion are "afraid" to see a sonogram or, better yet, that they don't understand what they are about to do, is patronizing and insulting. Thanks so much, GBT,  for broaching this subject and making people talk about something important.

SHOCKED
Dr. Priscilla O'Connell | Franklin Square, NY | March 13, 2012

I am shocked that you would equate an ultrasound to rape. Mothers need to have full knowledge of what they are contemplating doing when they go for an abortion. They are taking a human life. If they could see their baby they would probably not abort. Some will choose not to look and that is their right.

INTERFERENCE
Alex W. | Escondido, CA | March 13, 2012

Thanks for having your strip on the web. The cowardly San Diego Union Tribune has chosen not to run it this week. This is a controversial topic that needs to be discussed. It is not just about a woman's right to chose but also the interference of politicians in individuals' health care decisions. The main theme in Republicans' opposition to any mandated government health care program is that it would put the government between doctors and patients. Ironically, it is Repubilcans who are enacting laws that do just that. Perhaps they only object to the government interfering in men's health care decisions.

AS MANY FACTS AS POSSIBLE
Lynn Leo | Rochester, NY | March 13, 2012

I worked in a women's health care facility (not Planned Parenthood) in the 80s. I cared for many young women who had abortions. All of them were told (mostly by Planned Parenthood counselors) that it was a "procedure" "not a real baby" "just a bunch of cells" and "not recognizable as a baby." All of which is scientifically proven wrong. Nearly 90% of these women came back for counseling because they later learned the lies that were told to them. Upon seeing what a 2-3 month fetus really looks like, these women cried and some even used the phrase "I murdered my child." These women said they never would have had the "procedure" if they had seen an ultrasound of the baby. Why are people afraid of giving a woman all the facts before making such a monumental decision? Of course some women will choose to have an abortion anyway, and it is currently legal for them to do so. But wouldn't anyone get as many facts as possible before having any medical "procedure" done? I know I certainly would.

SONOGRAMS
Andrea Frank | Seattle, WA | March 13, 2012

I'm a grownup who has had many of these sonograms because of high-risk pregnancies. I loved seeing the baby, but the transvaginal did affect me after a while -- possibly because it also revealed the many ways I was inadequate. I stopped looking forward to them. I can't imagine how they are experienced by women who've been raped. It's not fair to impose them on anyone.

EACH WOMAN
M. Stroock | Denver, CO | March 13, 2012

Applause and thank you. Any woman who has faced the decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy knows it is emotionally wrenching and highly personal. Each woman must make that decision with the help of those she chooses to consult. It is her body and only she (and sometimes the father) is charged with the awesome emotional and legal responsibility to support any live birth that may result. Only she will experience the complex hormones that cause the intense bonding between mother and newborn. I respect those who believe life begins at conception, but I neither understand nor respect their insistence that their religious belief should be imposed on everyone else. Freedom of religion means the right to believe as your conscience dictates and my right to do the same. Religious freedom has no meaning if the religious beliefs of some can be imposed on all!

DISAPPOINTED
Heather Parks | Omaha, NE | March 13, 2012

Wow. I'm very disappointed in your latest strip and in some of the commentary I'm reading in Blowback -- especially from the females. I'm a female in my 40s that has had two (soon three) such sonagrams for medical monitoring purposes (fibroid and polyp). It is not a big deal -- not painful or much more invasive than a pap test -- and certainly not as invasive as an abortion or the process to get pregnant. I'd much rather go through a sonogram than a mammogram. What's the fear, ladies? That you'll actually see a baby about to be murdered? I've seen a sonogram with a coworker's unborn baby sucking its thumb. What's to fear about that? Maybe that you'll develop a conscience? As a female who's had sonograms I know the procedure is not a big deal. You do a disservice to your reading public, and show your ignorance, by indicating otherwise. Obviously some of your readers are equally uninformed about the procedure.

RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Susan Schneider | Bellerose, NY | March 13, 2012

If I hadn't seen Monday night's Rachel Maddow Show, I wouldn't have seen your latest comic strip re: Texas' abortion law or even known about it, since Newsday reprinted an old strip instead and failed to inform its readers that it was doing so or why. I'm outraged, and plan to cancel my subscription in protest.

BASIC RIGHT
Sally | Binghamton, NY | March 13, 2012

Thank you so much for taking this on. It is ridiculous that women are being forced to defend our basic right to decide what happens in and to our bodies. If someone else claims they get to make that decision for you, they are de facto claiming ownership of you. Control over fertility allows women to have political and economic power. Threaten that, and all of the gains towards women's equality we've made (it hasn't even been a century since we got the right to vote!) are thrown into question. That there are fifty million people who never got born as a side effect seems like a plus to me, as overpopulation and resource depletion threaten our future. The anti-choice side is so blinded by their irrational attachment to a fictional past that they can't see straight.

ABSURDITY AND SERIOUSNESS
Amy | Chicago, IL | March 13, 2012

I am glad you're taking on the simultaneous absurdity and seriousness of this issue. This is not about whether abortion should be legal or not, or whether abortion is baby-killing. It's not about whether a sonogram is useful (it obviously is in many situations) but whether it is necessary. Doctors and patients are the only ones who should decide what is medically necessary -- certainly not a legislator with no medical training, no context for an individual's situation, and often, no vagina. (And shouldn't we be reducing the number of unnecessary medical procedures anyway, to combat rising health care costs?)

SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS
Will | Austin, TX | March 13, 2012

It is a sad state of affairs when a comic strip is one of the few public venues where this topic is being discussed without 'pulling any punches.' Keep up the good work.

DISAPPOINTED
Doug | Hillsboro, OR | March 12, 2012

Thanks for a strip that was genuinely funny and on point. I'm disappointed in our local paper, The Oregonian, for refusing to run it.

JUST CAUSES
Nan Snyder | St. Louis, MO | March 12, 2012

As a 74-year-old woman I commend you for your years of devotion to highlighting just causes in the United States. The current political climate as ramped up by the GOP is a great disappointment to me, my children, and grandchildren, who have worked for equal rights for most of our lives. We realize our power and we will vote the GOP out of our lives. Thank you for all your great work and your excellent sense of humor.

A POINT
Brian | Hemet, CA | March 12, 2012

I do not like your strip and never have; however, you do have a point in the latest strip. While I am deeply opposed to baby murder in the form of abortions, I do not think the government should infringe upon the rights of citizens. I think abortions should be illegal for that exact reason. So while I am completely on the other side of the fence and disgusted by almost anything you do, I think you have a point.