Doonesbury fans may have a hard time finding their favorite strip this week, as some newspapers shy away from Garry Trudeau's hard-edged lampooning of a Texas abortion law.
In a week-long series, Trudeau takes direct aim at the law, which requires women to have an ultrasound procedure before an abortion. For some papers, phrases such as "slut" and "10-inch shaming wand" were a bit too hard to take. The harshest bit of dialogue may be the day-four bit comparing a transvaginal sonogram to rape.
Papers such as The Gainesville Sun and Indianapolis Star, decided not to run the strips, according to the Associated Press. The Kansas City Star, meanwhile, used replacements offered by Doonesbury's syndicate in the comics section, and moved the abortion series to the opinion page. (The Baltimore Sun is running the series in its regular position on the opinion pages.)
Of course, such controversy is not unusual for Trudeau. Way back in 1985, he acquiesced with his syndicate's decision to pull some strips regarding an anti-abortion movie, "The Silent Scream." And just last year, some newspapers pulled strips about Sarah Palin.
Trudeau told AP about the latest controversy: "Abortion remains a deeply contentious subject. Having said that, the goal is definitely not to antagonize editors and get booted from papers. It's just an occupational risk."