Cartoonist lambastes Texas sonogram law
by Rachel BohannonThursday, March 15, 2012
A series of comic strips that attacks a Pro-Life Texas law has been pulled by at least a dozen newspapers this week.
This week’s series of Doonesbury comics crudely criticizes the Texas Sonogram Law -- which requires abortionists to show women a sonogram 24 hours before an abortion -- suggesting that the Pro-Life legislators who passed the law are out-of-touch, patronizing rapists who are absurdly suspicious of physicians.
The sonogram law, House Bill 15, sponsored by Representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) and signed by Governor Perry last year, specifies that abortionists must show and describe a sonogram image to women seeking an abortion, pointing out the child’s arms, legs, and head. The abortionist must also make the child’s heartbeat audible for the mother to hear.
Doonesbury pokes fun at this reasonable measure, depicting an abortionist reading a state-issued script which declares that he cannot be trusted to give the young woman complete and accurate medical information, yet this “satirical” portrayal is anything but.
Abortion has been held to a lower medical standard than other surgical procedures for decades. For no other surgery can one undergo the informed consent, pre-op consultation, pre-op prep, and surgery all in one day. Now, fortunately, abortionists in Texas must give women all the information they need to make fully-informed decisions regarding their pregnancies, including a real-time visual of their children. This informed consent measure gives women an appropriate pause before consenting to or declining the life-ending procedure.
Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury, has also loudly protested the possible need for a transvaginal sonogram instead of the more well-known “jelly on the belly” type of sonogram. He told the Washington Post earlier this week, “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.” He then defined that practice as “rape.”
Elizabeth Graham, Director of Texas Right to Life, has said that Trudeau’s depiction of the law is perverse: “I am appalled that Garry Trudeau would joke about the life and health of women victimized by abortion mills, which try to keep women in the dark about the lives they are carrying. Trudeau leaves the defenseless child completely out of his sick, twisted illustrations, and instead warps the sonogram procedure, completely neglecting the fact that an abortion is a far more violent and invasive procedure than any type of sonogram.”
Abortionists performed sonograms long before HB 15 was written, including transvaginal sonograms. Sonograms are performed before every abortion to discover the gestational age of the child, which then determines the type of abortion procedure to be committed. If the pregnancy is early, a transvaginal sonogram is a must.
"Mr. Trudeau is clearly out of touch,” remarked Graham. “He seems to think that women cannot handle the truth about their reproductive health, and that unsympathetic men have foisted this legislation on women. However, that opinion is far from the truth. The sonogram law was written by two men and three women – this is an empowering law crafted by women, for women.”
The egregious comics are below. Please be forewarned that they contain vulgar words and images.