Garry Trudeau Likens Pre-Abortion Sonogram to Rape: ‘You Tell Me The Difference’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 11, 2012 | 12:31am EST

Garry Trudeau (AP Photo/Douglas Healey)

( - In an interview published by The Washington Post on Friday, cartoonist Garry Trudeau, creator of “Doonesbury,” likened the pre-abortion sonogram required by a new Texas law to rape.

“You tell me the difference,” Trudeau said.

The Texas law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry, requires that abortionists administer a sonogram to a pregnant woman 24 hours before aborting her baby.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the law in January, describing its requirements as follows: “The amendments require the physician ‘who is to perform an abortion’ to perform and display a sonogram of the fetus, make audible the heart auscultation of the fetus for the woman to hear, and explain to her the results of each procedure and to wait 24 hours, in most cases, between these disclosures and performing the abortion. A woman may decline to view the images or hear the heartbeat, but she may decline to receive an explanation of the sonogram images only on certification that her pregnancy falls into one of three statutory exceptions.”

The court said that under the law “the physician’s unconditional obligations are merely to display images so they may be viewed, to provide an understandable explanation, and to make audible the auscultation.” The law, the court said, “specifically does not require the physician to ensure the woman views the images, that she understands the explanation, or that she listens to the auscultation.”

In a six-day story line that will appear in his cartoon this week, Trudeau attempts to lampoon Gov. Perry and other Texas lawmakers who backed the sonogram law by depicting the visit of a woman seeking to abort her child to the doctor who will perform the deed.

Universal UClick, Trudeau’s syndicate, is offering an alternative Doonesbury cartoon series this week to newspapers that are purchasers of the comic strip but do not want to run Trudeau’s attack on the sonogram law.

In 1985, Trudeau and his syndicate at that time, pulled back from a comic strip he had written that attacked the documentary “The Silent Scream, which used a sonogram image to show an unborn child being killed by an abortionist.  Trudeau’s response to "The Silent Scream" had been to write a comic strip about a newly conceived embryo he called “Tiny Timmy.”

"Oddly, for such a sensitive topic, I found it easy to write,” Trudeau told The Washington Post of his new cartoon series on the Texas sonogram law.

“The story is very straightforward--it's not high-concept like Little Timmy in “Silent Scream”--and the only creative problem I had to work through was the physician's perspective,” said Trudeau. “ I settled on resigned outrage.

“Texas's HB-15 isn't hard to explain: The bill says that in order for a woman to obtain a perfectly legal medical procedure, she is first compelled by law to endure a vaginal probe with a hard, plastic 10-inch wand,” said Trudeau.  “The World Health Organization defines rape as ‘physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration — even if slight — of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.’ You tell me the difference.”

In a sonogram, such as the one required by the Texas law Trudeau will attack in his cartoons this week, a doctor shows the live image of living child within his or her mother’s womb. In most abortions, a doctor reaches into the mother’s womb either with a surgical instrument or a poison and deliberately kills the child. In a live-birth abortion--a procedure Barack Obama sought to maintain legal protection for (by blocking the Born Alive Infant Protection Act) when he was an Illinois state senator--a doctor induces labor in a woman in late pregnancy and then when her child is born leaves the child untended and uncared for to slowly die of neglect.

As a humorist, Trudeau has been highly popular among the editors of American newspapers for more than four decades. His wife is former long-time NBC News journalist Jane Pauley, who in 2008 campaigned for Barack Obama for president. She declared his election would “electrify the world.”

Trudeau was an embryo in 1947 and was born on July 21, 1948.

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