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03.12.12 - The much-loved political cartoon "Doonesbury" ran an entire week of comic strips focusing on mandatory ultrasound laws beginning on March 12, 2012. More than 60 newspapers refused to run “Doonesbury” cartoons even though they were simply trying to humanize the struggles of women under Texas’s demeaning law.
The Center immediately launched an advocacy campaign asking supporters to email us if their local newspapers chose not to run the strips. As a result, we received thousands of emails reporting this censorship, but also applauding newspapers brave enough to run the strips in their entirety.
The Center filed a lawsuit against Texas’s invasive ultrasound law and took it all the way to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which declined to give us a full hearing—despite clear violations of the rights of women and their doctors.
The law is now being enforced, and women seeking an abortion must not only first get an ultrasound, but she will be required to be shown the ultrasound image and listen to her doctor describe the image in detail—even if she says NO.
We haven’t given up our fight in Texas and against similar laws cropping up around the country. The "Doonesbury" cartoons helped to show just how outrageous these laws are, and supporter activism made it clear that Americans don't want their news—or cartoons—censored.
DOONESBURY (c) 2012 G.B. Trudeau. Dist. by permission of Universal Uclick.
“I am concerned about the graphic content.” (Rock Hill, SC Herald)
“The language in the original strips was not appropriate for a comic that could be viewed by children.” (Ogden, UT Standard-Examiner)
“Went over the line of good taste and humor.” (Oregonian)
* Newspapers that did not run the ultrasound edition of "Doonesbury":
Newspapers that ran the series on pages other than the comics:
* Sourced from CRR supporters.
** Please note that this list does not reflect every newspaper censoring the cartoons, just the ones we were able to verify.