Over the past forty years, Garry Trudeau’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip “Doonesbury” has tackled its fair share of controversial topics. But this week marks the first time that Trudeau will address abortion, and as a result newspaper editors across the country are refusing the run the six-day series.
The series will focus on mandatory ultrasounds, such as the ones in Virginia and Texas that have drawn national scrutiny in recent weeks. “I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women’s health currently being waged in several states,” Trudeau said in a recent interview. “For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh et al. thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice.”
In 1985, Trudeau created a Doonesbury series that dealt with the anti-choice film The Silent Scream. But, as Trudeau explains in the same interview, the president of the company that syndicated Doonesbury “felt that it would be deeply harmful to the feature, and that we would lose clients permanently. They had supported me through so much for so long, I felt obliged to go with their call.” That series was never given wide release in newspapers.