Report: Some papers won’t be running next week’s ‘Doonesbury’ strips

A Romenesko reader emails: “Next week’s ‘Doonesbury’ cartoons, on the Texas anti-abortion/mandatory ultrasound law, may cause some newspapers to use “Flashbacks” instead of the live cartoons.”

I asked around and was told that the Oregonian and Dallas Morning News are among the papers that have discussed pulling the strips. (I’ve left messages with editors at both newspapers to see what they’ve decided.) UPDATE: “We thought the strips were over the line for the comics pages and won’t be running them,” says Oregonian features editor JoLene Krawczak. “We’ll tell readers where they can read them online.”

UPDATE #2: The Dallas Morning News will run the strips, and have a story tomorrow about them.

UPDATE #3: Garry Trudeau talks about the strips.

The Chicago Tribune, which pulled “Doonesbury” strips in September and February, will be running them, says associate managing editor/entertainment Geoff Brown.

Here’s what’s in the strips:

Monday: Young woman arrives for her pre-termination sonogram, is told to take a seat in the shaming room, a middle-aged male state legislator will be right with her.

Tuesday: He asks her if this is her first visit to the center, she replies no, that she’s been using the contraceptive services for some time. He says, “I see. Do your parents know you’re a slut?”

Wednesday: A different male is reading to her about the transvaginal exam process.

Thursday: In the stirrups, she is telling a nurse that she doesn’t want a transvaginal exam. Doctor says “Sorry miss, you’re first trimester. The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10″ shaming wand.” She asks “Will it hurt?” Nurse says, “Well, it’s not comfortable, honey. But Texas feels you should have thought of that.” Doctor says, “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”

Friday: Doctor is explaining that the Texas GOP requires her to have an intimate encounter with her fetus. He begins describing it to her. Last panel, he says, “Shall I describe it’s hopes and dreams?” She replies, “If it wants to be the next Rick Perry, I’ve made up my mind.”

Saturday: Back in the reception area, she asks where she goes now for the actual abortion. Receptionist tells her there’s a 24-hour waiting period: “The Republican Party is hoping you get caught in a shame spiral and change your mind.” Last panel: She says, “A final indignity.” Receptionist replies, “Not quite. Here’s your bill.”

Is your newspaper using “Flashback” strips next week? Let me know at

Amy Nelson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press emails: “Re: Doonesbury strips. We are subbing in print at the Pioneer Press and directing readers to online if they want to read them. Not appropriate for Comics pages with its mix of Garfield and The Duplex and not a great solution to move them to the Opinion pages for a week. Just made the decision a few minutes ago.”