Overriding a veto by Arkansas' Democratic governor, the state's Republican-controlled House and Senate approved a bill to ban abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy -- the most restrictive such law in the country.
Photographer: AP Graphics Bank
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(EndPlay Staff Reports) - Popular but edgy comic strip "Doonesbury," not a stranger to controversy, will be tackling the abortion debate this week.
The strip satirizes a Texas law that requires women to get an ultrasound before getting an abortion. It features a young woman who, while at an abortion clinic, is called a "slut" by a legislator and placed in a "shaming room" to wait for her procedure.
"We felt the story line was a little over the top for a comics page," Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor Alice Short stated in the story as she discussed the decision to place it on the Op-Ed page.
Other papers are having similar discussions or may not run it at all for the week.
This is the first time in Doonesbury's 40-year history that the strip will be taking on "the abortion wars head-on." The Washington Post Comic Riffs blog reported that Trudeau said not to address the debate to would be "comedy malpractice."
Trudeau told the Post that he chose to satirize 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. For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago."
This isn't the first time Trudeau tackled the subject, though it will be the first time his efforts make it into print.
The Washington Post said a week of strips centered around the anti-abortion movie "The Silent Scream" were pulled by Universal Press Syndicate in 1985. Trudeau told the newspaper that the syndicate thought it could mean losing clients permanently, and he felt "obliged to go with their call."
This time the decision was made to publish the strip, but also to offer a substitute for papers who requested one.
"Doonesbury" is carried by about 1,400 clients. Papers deciding not to run it include The Oregonian in Portland, Ore., which stated that Trudeau, "in our judgment, went over the line of good taste and humor in penning a series on abortion using graphic language and images inappropriate for a comics page."
The paper directed readers where to find the strip online and announced plans to poll readers for their opinions on the decision not to run it.
Media blogger Jim Romenesko , always adept at catching hot-button issues in the media, reported that The Dallas Morning News will run the strips and write a story about them.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press emailed him that it will direct its readers to where to see the strips online instead of running them, saying it is not appropriate for the comics page's "mix of Garfield and The Duplex."
Many Romenesko readers expressed their displeasure with the decisions not to run the strips.
"I never thought of them as being timid," one reader said of The Oregonian.
"Pulling a cartoon because it may be offensive or 'over the line' is an insult to the intelligence of a paper's readers," another commented.
Doonesbury can be seen online at GoComics.com .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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