Tag Archives: Middletown Press

Gary Trudeau Rocks

11 Mar

There is currently a bit of a debate going on regarding this weeks Doonesbury cartoon which is a commentary on Texas law HB-15.  Essentially, the law says that in order to get an abortion in Texas, a woman has to undergo an ultrasound 24-hours prior to the procedure, presumably allowing the thick-headed women folk ample time to really think about the immoral procedure they’re about to endure (if she lives more than 100 miles away from an abortion provider the ultrasound must be done at least 2 hours in advance).  Most people assume that this refers to your typical abdominal ultrasound, in which the ultrasound is done externally.  However, as far as I understand it (and correct me if I am wrong), if a woman wants an abortion early in the pregnancy, the only way to see what is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the law is a transvaginal ultrasound.  Meaning, an internal one, involving a wand.  So, anyway, the following is one of the panels from the upcoming, and controversial, Doonesbury comic:

Author defends

So, Trudeau does what we all have been thinking:  he calls a spade a spade.  In an interview that I found linked on Gawker, the creator of Doonesbury, Gary Trudeau, had this to say:

Texas’s HB-15 isn’t hard to explain: The bill says that in order for a woman to obtain a perfectly legal medical procedure, she is first compelled by law to endure a vaginal probe with a hard, plastic 10-inch wand. The World Health Organization defines rape as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration — even if slight — of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.” You tell me the difference.

And it is official:  I am a big fan of Gary Trudeau.  And you know who else I am a fan of?  Matt DeRienzo, the group editor of Connecticut newspapers such as the New Haven Register, the Middletown Press,  The Register Citizen of Torrington, and a few non-daily publications.  On a blog post regarding this controversy he said,

Newspaper editors should be more concerned about protecting their readers from legislators who want to force them into an offensive, invasive procedure aimed at undermining the very foundation of reproductive rights and equality than cartoonists who are raising alarms about it.

Doonesbury, he points out, is and has always been a political cartoon.  This is a political issue and it is well within the rights of Trudeau to comment on it.  DeRienzo draws a parallel to the recent issue with Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke.  While Limbaugh has endured an exodus of many of his sponsors (belatedly, in my opinion) as far as I know he has not been kicked off the air anywhere in punishment.  And Don Imus has a job after his horrendous comments a few years back.  So in conclusion I guess I have two things to say:

1.  Good on you Gary Trudeau, Matt DeRienzo, and every other person and publication willing to stand behind this comic, whether or not you agree with the politics

2.  To those of you who don’t think it should be published:  shame on you.  Sure, some of your readers might get angry and write letters.  But others just won’t look at it, kind of what I try to do with the Imus’ and the Limbaugh’s of the world…with limited success.  Give us the respect to allow us to choose the content we wish to see and that which we don’t.