James L. writes in with a provocative observation about pro-life editorial cartoons about abortion:

…when pregnant women are depicted, they are often faceless, voiceless, or shown without any agency. Oftentimes they are not depicted at all, and the fetus is used as the cartoonist’s mouthpiece.

Some examples:




For a similar phenomenon, check out Lennart Nilsson’s fetus photography.

UPDATE:  A commenter pointed out that the first and last cartoons are pro-choice cartoons.  Thanks for the heads up, sybsyb!


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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