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.

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!

ACTUAL DISCUSSION
Been There | Edmonton, CANADA | March 15, 2012

I, for one, am glad to see some actual discussion on this big issue. Back in 1988, I had to make an agonizing decision when my daughter was only four months old. I chose to have an abortion. The father refused to help me with the decision on whether to have the baby, and my living child had major health issues that required a heart monitor. I was terrified that the second child would have the same issues as well, so I chose to abort. The father blames me to this day that it was all my fault for aborting his child. As for why no birth control -- well, I was told that the pill and breastfeeding do not mix, and the condom broke. Was also told I wouldn't get pregnant while I was breastfeeding. Yeah, um false. For me, when I was faced with another unexpected pregnancy, I had him as I just couldn't go through the trauma of another abortion. For me it was traumatic as I didn't have all the facts until after. That doesn't mean though that there shouldn't be that option.

HARD SLAP
Luis | Brasilia, BRAZIL | March 15, 2012

I am a longtime occasional reader, and just want to let you know it is an amazing thing that you are doing. This hard slap is long overdue; I just wish more people had your courage to run with news like that. It is a discussion the whole society should be having, not just a group mostly composed of men. We should start a campaign that everyone that wants Viagra should have a tube examine the inside of their urethra and a rectal exam at the same time every time they need their "magic" pill. Equal rights also means that the women should be equally a part of the discussion, and respected -- not called murderers and sluts for expressing their opinion. Thank you for doing what many of us do not have the courage to do: shining a bright light over it.

TWO CENTS
L. Cassidy | TENNESSEE | March 15, 2012

My two cents: As someone who has had several friends who were sexually assaulted and watched them struggle with the long-term effects, I wouldn't equate an ultrasound with rape. However, this procedure is extremely invasive. I had to have a medically necessary transvaginal ultrasound and it was very painful. The head of the wand is huge and it was surprisingly painful going in. Also, they don't just insert the wand; they hold at it different weird angles so that they can get better imaging and that hurts like the dickens. Afterwards, I went out to my car and just cried. I was shaken not only by how much it hurt but also my emotional response to it. I think people often assume, wrongly, that because the vaginal canal is designed for sex and birth that women should feel comfortable having something inserted in something as “benign” as a medical environment. Wrong.

The second time I had to have one, it took the tech about five minutes to insert it because I kept flinching and scooting away. It was less traumatic the second time but no less painful. These exams are not medically necessary for women seeking abortions, and to impose one on those who are already going through a traumatic experience is awful. You don't have to agree with the pro-choice stance; you are absolutely entitled to your opinion, but this legislation goes beyond political rhetoric and delves into unethical territory by legally imposing a singular moral perspective under the guise of medicine and using a medical procedure that doctors agree is unnecessary as a tool of coercion and shame.

RIGHT TO KNOW
Susan | Zachary, LA | March 15, 2012

As a woman and a mother with daughters ranging in age from 32 to 16 I am all for a woman's right to know exactly what any proceedure will do to her; body, mind and spirit. Seeing a pre-born human on a sonogram is absolutely educational and a positive tool into seeing what is transpiring in your own body. Ninety-nine percent of sonograms are topical and non invasive.

TANTAMOUNT TO RAPE
Susan | NEW YORK | March 15, 2012

As someone who has both had an abortion (due to birth control failure) and survived a rape in my years on this earth, I can say that yes this unneeded coerced procedure is tantamount to rape. Most definitely. Women are able to make their own decisions about their healthcare. I am stunned that this is even in contention. Thank you for writing these strips. Maybe Texas should revamp its tourist slogan to "Texas, where they charge to rape you."