This Week’s Doonesbury Strips Relocated or Scrapped by Several Newspapers

by Betsy Gomez

If you usually read Garry B. Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” comic strip on the comics page of your local newspaper, you may find the latest strips moved to the op-ed page or missing entirely this week. This week’s strips feature a young woman who visits an abortion clinic in Texas, a state that requires compulsory ultrasounds before an abortion, and the strips liken Texas’s practice to rape. Because of the contentious nature of the topic, several newspapers have elected to not run the series, or they moved it to their opinion pages or online.

The Los Angeles Times is one of the newspapers that elected to move the strip to the op-ed page. Editors at The LA Times described why they made this decision:

“We felt the story line was a little over the top for a comics page,” said Alice Short, a Times assistant managing editor.

Sue Horton, the Op-Ed and Sunday Opinion editor of The Times, said the Op-Ed page was an appropriate place for the series.

“We carry both op-eds and cartoons about controversial subjects, and this is a controversial subject,” she said. Monday’s Op-Ed page is on Page A17.

In an Associated Press article by Bill Draper, Trudeau responded to the controversy:

Trudeau said Friday that “it would have been a little surprising” if there hadn’t been any pushback against the series.

“Abortion remains a deeply contentious subject. Having said that, the goal is definitely not to antagonize editors and get booted from papers,” he said in an email to The Associated Press. “It’s just an occupational risk.”

For more on the story, you can read the Associated Press article here and The LA Times article here.

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