Activists Dress in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Robes to Protest Texas Abortion Legislation
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 feminist dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been getting renewed attention since President Trump took office. Characters from the novel seemed to come to life earlier this week during a Texas Senate meeting, as a group of women arrived in the chamber clad in the signature red robes and white bonnets of the sexual surrogates in Atwood’s book.
— Alexa Garcia-Ditta (@agarciaditta) March 20, 2017
— PPTV (@PPTXVotes) March 20, 2017
The women were quietly protesting two abortion bills, Texas Senate Bill 415 and Texas Senate Bill 25. SB 415, which bans a commonly used abortion procedure cloaked under anti-choice rhetoric, and SB 25, which allows doctors to keep information from patients under the guise of protecting them from lawsuits, both passed in the Texas Senate Monday.
Atwood herself has openly discussed the similarities between Trump’s presidency and the book she penned over three decades ago.
“Back in 1984, the main premise seemed — even to me — fairly outrageous. Would I be able to persuade readers that the United States had suffered a coup that had transformed an erstwhile liberal democracy into a literal-minded theocratic dictatorship?” she recently wrote for The New York Times. “In the wake of the recent American election, fears and anxieties proliferate. Basic civil liberties are seen as endangered, along with many of the rights for women won over the past decades, and indeed the past centuries.”