Monday, March 12, 2012

The Doonesbury Controversy

Many newspapers have refused to run Gary Trudeau's take on Texas' sonogram law, ChronBlog has decided to embrace it....

Talk about Doonesbury’s take on the Texas sonogram abortion law, Dean Betz, ChronBlog
The “Doonesbury” comic strip this week directly takes on Texas’ law requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion.

The series by Gary Trudeau features a woman who goes to an abortion clinic and is confronted by several people who suggest she should be ashamed about her decision. Among them is a doctor who reads a script on behalf of Gov. Rick Perry welcoming her to a “compulsory transvaginal exam,” and a middle-aged legislator who calls her a “slut.”
Trudeau is also going to state that GOP voters, and a doctor performing a procedure, are "raping" the woman. To me that's taking it too far, but I understand what Mr. Trudeau is going for here.

Part of the reason is that I'm in the odd position of being anti-abortion but anti-sonogram law also. I never did like this law and I feel that it's an overreach by the State into a medical decision that should be private. In my perfect world, there would be no need for abortions except for in cases of rape, incest and when the mother's health is in imminent danger. However, because of the political pressure put on by pro-choice groups we now live in a society where abortion is viewed as just another means of birth control. Once you cross that line, then the next logical step is post birth abortions which then gets us closer to the "perfect state" as described by current SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.
Getting rid of the "undesirables" so to speak. Ethically, morally, that's a real problem for the pro-abortion movement as we saunter towards the next-gen discussions of this hot-button issue.

Which is where the real damage from this Doonesbury comic strip lies. In much the same way Rush Limbaugh's "slut" comment changed the debate question from one of religious freedom to a mean man attacking a woman, the strip this week is going to change the question at hand from what are reasonable restrictions on a complicated medical procedure to some ham-fisted argument against GOP voters.

Whatever the outcome, the GOP is currently losing control of how this debate is framed, and they seem to have no answer to it, for fear of finding themselves thrown up against the wall and shot with accusations of misogyny. Believe me, I know, I've been there, even though what I was writing about at the time had nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with personal qualifications. These are attacks that, once they start, won't stop.

If the GOP wants to have any fighting chance in 2012 however they had better grow a thick skin and be prepared to take arrows like this that are thrown at them. They also had better circle the wagons and come up with an effective, consistent response. I'd start by publicizing post-birth abortion theory, linking it to Ginsburg's own words and tie them both around the Democrat's necks like a mill-stone.

That won't happen of course, and we'll continue to allow our abortion debate to be co-opted by the abortion industry, who stands to reap a financial windfall because of the expansion of abortion services inherent in Government Health Care. Shame on us.

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