Garry Trudeau, author of the syndicated, protuberant-nosed comic strip Doonsebury, has defended his cartoon's most recent storyline, which takes aim this week at the Texas anti-abortion law — which threatens to spread like brush fire to other states — that requires abortion providers to perform an ultrasound on pregnant women, show and describe the image to them, and play sounds of the fetal heart beat. In an email, Trudeau wrote that Republicans, who supposedly belong to "the party of limited government," have created "onerous preconditions for a perfectly legal procedure," adding,

"This is happening in statehouses across the country. It's lunacy, and lunacy, of course, is in my wheelhouse."

Trudeau's Monday-Saturday strip will follow a woman who goes to a Texas clinic for an abortion and is forced to have a sonogram, after which she goes home for 24 hours and stews about the human capacity for bureaucratic cruelty, as per the Texas law. Universal Uclick, the syndicate behind Doonesbury, have been fielding skittish questions about the strip from about a dozen newspaper editors across the country, including The Oregonian in Portland, who eventually determined that the cartoonist "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."

Maybe a comic strip is the only way to reach out to the puerile minds of those on the right who believe that they have a moral obligation to shame a woman who's probably already well aware of that she's making a difficult decision. Then again, they probably all just read Family Circus.

Author defends 'Doonesbury' abortion strip [Reuters]