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.

BEFORE ROE VS WADE
P.K. | Chicago, IL | March 15, 2012

I am quite elderly. I became a pregnant woman decades before Roe vs Wade. My husband and I had very much money and we paid for a safe abortion from a doctor. Our choice was not any children ever, and contraception had failed for us. My good fortune to have so much money was not shared by all who wanted to not give birth to an undesired child. My second good fortune was we were able to help other women in our family in this same disaster. Now the good fortune for all women is to have a safe abortion. If you believe abortion is not to happen, put your energy and your money to reliable contraception for anyone who wants it and they pay only what they are able. If you are against abortion and against contraception also, it is true that you are for unwanted children, for dangers possible to a woman's health in the pregnancy, and for life if it is in the womb only. This is making you a most uncharitable person with a unkind spirit.

LITURGICAL TONE
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | March 15, 2012

The liturgical tone that you gave the doctor's words today is inappropriate and insulting to people of the Christian faith. The tone of Doonesbury often skates the line between satire and poor taste, but this time you're over the edge and in freefall.

COMIC SURGEON
Doug Bowker | Salem, MA | March 15, 2012

Like a comic surgeon, you know exactly when to show depth and compassion (as in the stories of our vets) and just when to go after the cancer of the hard Right with caustic chemotherapy. This week's strips show just why words (and some well-drawn pictures) have always been at the core of what made us a democracy, even before we were one!

INTENSE
Barbara Sauvage | Park Forest, IL | March 15, 2012

Wow. The last time we saw graphic literature this intense, it was called Maus. Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. Thank you.

THE POINT
Bryan Lavender | Sturgis, SD | March 15, 2012

Re today's SAY WHAT? quote: Ms. Frazier thinks "There is nothing comic about this..."? Well, as I see it, that is exactly the point. There most certainly is not anything the least bit funny about what is going on in Texas and elsewhere. But trust the current elected government in Texas (and evidently a few readers) to totally miss the point. Keep up the good work, Doonesbury!

CHRONIC ILLNESS
Elizabeth Clark | Nashua, NH | March 15, 2012

When I got unexpectedly pregnant, I was scared. I have a chronic illness that makes pregnancy not only risky for the baby, but also potentially life-threatening for me. However, the very thought of aborting that fetus felt so wrong it made me ill. So, I chose to carry it through. But the thing is, it was my choice. I looked at my circumstances and knew, even though it was scary, that as long as I survived I could love and support that child. However, not all girls and women have as fortunate circumstances as me. I'd guess most don't. And while it would be ideal if we didn't have to take wordly situations into consideration when talking about the miracle of life, it's unrealistic and cruel to deny their existence and the impact they have on both the women and the children-to-be.

CIVIL DISCOURSE
Deborah Shuman | Silver Spring, MD | March 15, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, for this series on the Texas legislation. Thank you for encouraging and providing a space for civil discourse, which is so sorely lacking in today's America. Whatever one's personal stance on abortion, there can be no justification for trampling on the rights of others to hold their own personal and religious views. My religious beliefs hold that the soul enters the body with the first breath of air, and not before. And I am old enough to remember what it was like to be a young woman directly affected by anti-abortion laws, unable to safely and legally terminate a pregnancy, whether it was the result of consensual or nonconsensual sex. It was terrifying to know that people whom I would never meet, and who certainly did not know me, had the power to affect my own personal decisions concerning the most intimate aspects of my body. I wish that everyone who trumpets "the rights of the unborn" could know that fear. But as long as there are humorists like yourself, as well as the many thoughtful commentators who have posted here -- on both sides of the issue -- I feel there may be some hope of thwarting those who seem to want to turn our society into The Handmaid's Tale.

GENDER GAP IN POLITICS
Connie Schwartz | Hudson, IL | March 14, 2012

Thank you so much for these strips about the ultrasound law. The idea that men think this is not invasive proves that there is a major gender gap in politics. No woman should ever be forced to have a vaginal probe, but to ask it of a rape victim is doubling the crime. I wonder if these "men" (for lack of a better word) would feel the same if it was their loved one and if she had been raped by an al-Qaeda soldier. If you have exceptions for one then it is a choice. Until I see a guy waddling around pregnant I don't want to hear a word from them about how abortion is wrong.

WAR ON WOMEN
Robert Bernstein | Toronto, CANADA | March 14, 2012

Thank you so much for applying a brilliant satirical skewer to the Republican war on women and the outrageous tactic of discouraging women from seeking abortions by loading up the procedure with intrusive meddling by the state and medically unnecessary and invasive sonograms. Your framing of the issue is right on target, and I am glad to see your work generating so much reaction and discussion.

THE RIGHT MIX
Daisy Horning | McLean, VA | March 14, 2012

I'm just writing to say how pleased I am that Doonesbury is taking a stance against the Republicans' ridiculous threatening of women's reproductive rights. The abortion-themed strips are tasteful and have the right mix of sadness and sarcasm. They strike the right tone, which must be very hard to do with touchy subjects like abortion. I am also very pleased that my paper, the Washington Post, has agreed to run the series.

LESS GOVERNMENT
C. Turner | Yakima, WA | March 14, 2012

Republicans want less government everywhere except in citizens' bedrooms. Now they want the government in women's vaginas.

COMICS
Michael F. Hopkins | Buffalo, NY | March 14, 2012

Those who forever question the validity of comics as a literature to pose critical forums, and address questionable legal practices, are receiving a potent reason for aesthetic reconsideration in reading the current Doonesbury series. Rarely have we seen art and critical statement come together so exceptionally, with as powerful a missive for the nation, as we have in the 40-plus years of this literary series.

CAN'T BELIEVE
Gary Rowell | Elora, TN | March 14, 2012

I have been reading your strip from the very beginning, and have collected all your books. I ended up as an 18-year-old in Vietnam and also served in Desert Storm, so I very much identify with B.D. Still have my leg, but with a 42-year-old bullet in it. It crushed me when you took a break from publishing for a while. I tend to be conservative and don't personally favor abortion, but I can't believe that we as a Nation put women through what Texas does and some other states propose. How are we not saying to a woman, "You are property"? Thank you for your good work.

MATERNITY
Glenn | Racine, WI | March 14, 2012

If insurance covers maternity, is that paying women and men to have sex? Just wondering.

NOT A JOKING MATTER
Chris Matera | TEXAS | March 14, 2012

GBT, I'm so sorry you feel the way you do about abortion; however, that matter is not a joking matter, and your strip is not funny in that respect. Hopefully some day you'll realize that taking the life of an unborn is killing a human, and that is just plain wrong. In the case of rape, you are punishing an innocent child instead of the one who committed the offense. What if your mother decided she couldn't afford you and had an abortion? Would you say we are better off? You ought to be happy she made the right choice. We'll pray that you'll see the truth and change your belief before you have to answer to a higher authority.

OVER THE TOP
Galen Miller | Ithaca, MI | March 14, 2012

I am a medical imaging educator and I do not like you portraying a politician as a medical imaging person. We definitely do not need politicians in imaging centers! Beyond that, I understand the use of hyperbole in your strip and am a long-time reader. But I think you went over the top this time. You are just Rush Limbaugh in reverse!

GADFLY
Kerri Wachter | Baltimore, MD | March 14, 2012

Still a gadly after all these years, Doonesbury. I hope to share your work with my children someday -- should I choose (look everyone, the operative word is "choose") to have any. Thanks for continuing to boldly go where no man has before.

IT WASN'T THAT LONG AGO
Toni | Riverside, CA | March 14, 2012

It wasn't that long ago that women were considered to be property -- first of their father, then of their husband. "Owners" had the right to make decisions for their "property." We are no longer considered property (about time!), so no one else has the right to make decisions for us. It is important that we don't slip back and allow someone else to make those decisions that affect our bodies. It's time for women to take a firm stand and reject politicians who want to turn back the clock.

PATRONIZING HOAX
K.G. | Seoul, SOUTH KOREA | March 14, 2012

The whole thing about women making an uninformed decision is such a patronizing hoax. After an IUD failure, I had an abortion when I was 23, and it was a sad experience, but there was nothing I couldn't understand about it. No health insurance + no stable job prospects + low income + living far from family + not married = not going to carry pregnancy to term. What more information does a person need? Even though my boyfriend (at the time -- he's now my husband) was supportive, we both knew that all we were essentially doing was stopping a lump of cells from growing into a baby that we couldn't afford. Having an abortion is a pragmatic decision, not an ideological or spiritual one; people don't have abortions simply because they lack an understanding of the biological mechanisms of conception and gestation. In my case, having an abortion was physically and emotionally draining in the short term, but in the long term, my husband and I have been proud of ourselves for being realistic about it: deferring parenthood allowed us to take time to go back to grad school, get married, get our careers and incomes on a good trajectory, and provide the kind of home we want our children to have. We would offer our heartfelt support to anyone facing a similar decision. And we offer our respect and thanks to you, Mr. Trudeau, for exposing the absurdity of the most recent attacks on women's reproductive rights.

YOUNG IGNORANT GIRLS
Paul | CALIFORNIA | March 14, 2012

I am surprised that people think that the ultrasound law is directed at the sophisticates that have no problem terminating the child that dares threaten their state of being. On the other hand, how many young ignorant girls have been convinced that an abortion is nothing more than an extension of the "contraception process"? And who's there at Planned Parenthood to tell them otherwise? These women are whom the Texas law is trying to protect (not to mention their babies).