Some testicle-free newspapers got a bit nervous when Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau incorporated a story arc about Texas's controversial "Sonogram Bill," which requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. Doctors must also present audio of the fetus's heartbeat. The requirement may only be waived in a medical emergency; there are no exceptions for cases of rape.
Making the bill even more weird is the proviso that neither party can be penalized if the woman "chooses not to receive the information," which apparently means that if the woman closes her eyes and covers her ears, she won't have to go to jail. How compassionate.
A few papers pulled the comic for the week, opting to run older strips in its place. We applaud those who stood firm, and we applaud Trudeau -- never one to shy away from controversy -- for tackling this icky subject. We just wish more cartoonists would have done the same. But since they didn't, Hair Balls took it upon ourselves, with the help of Art Director Monica Fuentes.
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Dennis the Menace
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Family Circle 2