With Fetus is unique. It deals with thirty-somethings who have legitimate careers and deal with realistic situations. I'm not a huge fan of the strip. The drawing is terrible, the dialogue often unrealistic, nitpicky, and preachy and the author D. Murphy is over-fond of the phrase "rape culture." As a progressive feminist myself, an EMT, and somebody who has actually studied the physical and psychological repercussions of rape on women, I find it very offensive when so-called feminists call an occasional bikini-clad model in a beer commercial a symptom of "rape culture." Women who actually live in rape cultures (Darfur, Rwanda in the nineties, child-marriage cultures in Yemen, Taliban-ruled areas of Afghanistan) suffer trauma far outstripping any mild offense we American women can take at seeing a pair of air-brushed tits in a magazine ad. When Western feminists call some idiotic movie or TV show or commercial a symptom of "rape culture," they GROTESQUELY demean and undermine women who combat rape everyday in places around the world, whether it be in South Africa where more than one in three men admit to having raped a woman , Yemen, Chechnya, or elsewhere.
That rant aside I generally like With Fetus. It's smart, aware, and necessary. Though I occasionally find D. Murphy's blog entries tedious she is often gracious and very responsive to any criticism that readers may lob at her. When I left a very long comment criticizing an earlier strip of hers Murphy was very kind in responding and addressing my concerns.
Nevertheless Murphy has been a little awkward in addressing some social issues. Though unapologetically pro-choice Murphy sometimes uses abortion analogies that- if anything- seem oddly forced-birth. In the above strip Murphy compares a woman having an abortion to a helicopter pilot refusing to rescue a cold, frightened, human being. This is a pro-choice analogy to abortion??? This is an accurate analogy??? NO!
1) The stowaway in the cartoon is an actual walking, talking, thinking, feeling human being in need of immediate help and evacuation. A 9-week-old embryo is the size of a grape, is about 99% water and doesn't even have a definable gender yet. It is inaccurate to compare a frightened hiker on a mountain to a watery embryo.
2) Any and all helicopter pilots have a moral duty to rescue abandoned hikers, walkers or any human beings in hazardous environmental zones. Unless the weather is bad enough to endanger a helicopter pilot that pilot must fly out to rescue any people in danger. The above cartoon is NOT a good analogy for abortion.
Of course what IS a good way to put together a reasonable analogy for the abortion debate in the US today? It's surprisingly difficult to create one but I hope I managed to pull it off in the below cartoon.
I tried to dash off the strip quickly (hence the crappy drawing quality, the noticeable white-out splotches and general lack of cleanliness in execution) .. but I hope the analogy is good.