A controversial Doonesbury series of cartoons that accused Texas Republicans of raping women with recent abortion legislature found two champions of sorts in Utah's cartoonists at the end of last week.
Garry Trudeau's nationally syndicated Doonesbury strip attacked a new Texas law requiring women seeking abortions to have sonograms. But some newspapers decided to not run the series, although whether because of its language—"transvaginal sonogram"—how it skewers the law's authors and supporters as effectively being rapists, or for its overtly political content depends on who you talk to. Others ran it on their editorial pages.
Ogden's Standard-Examiner elected not to run the strip in print. Executive Editor Andy Howell said that "the language in some of the strips was not appropriate for a family newspaper," in a piece that was largely concerned with an "astroturfing letter campaign" accusing newspapers that did not run the strip of censorship.The Standard ran the entire strip online, but replaced it with another Doonesbury strip in print.
The Standard's cartoonist, Cal Grondahl, however, found a Utah angle on the controversy that did run in print, highlighting how Utah's now-vetoed sex-ed bill would have resulted in children receiving their "birds and the bees" education from peers. Note the young man on the left making an indelicate gesture with his forefinger.
The Salt Lake Tribune ran the whole series, except for one of the final strips, which cartoonist Pat Bagley featured instead as part of his cartoon, accompanied by a strip he drew featuring a Utah legislator telling a woman wanting a termination that she should live with the consequences of her actions. When she asks him if he has ever made a mistake, he is shown at the end dallying with a 15-year old in a hot tub, in an homage—if that's the right word—to disgraced former Utah House Majority leader Kevin Garn.
(click for larger image on the Tribune site)