This Monday, the Texas State Senate considered anti-abortion legislation. Senate Bill 25 prevents parents from suing doctors if their children are born with disabilities, even in the event that prenatal tests detect a disability and a doctor withholds that information from parents. And Senate Bill 415 bans a procedure commonly used in second-trimester abortions.
Both bills, thinly veiled attacks on a woman’s right to choose, have now passed in the Senate and will move to a vote in the Texas House of Representatives. But the most newsworthy aspect of the proceedings? Several women protested against the measures by sitting in the chambers dressed as handmaids, à la Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.
“The scene in Texas sent a quiet warning to legislators that women are ready to push back against the recent increase in anti-choice legislation in states across the country,” The Huffington Post reported. “Pictures of the sheroes quickly made the rounds on Twitter with the hashtag #FightBackTX.”
The Handmaid’s Tale depicts a not-too-distant future in which a totalitarian, theocratic government has taken over the United States. Women have been stripped of nearly every right, their function diminished strictly to child-bearing and housework. Sales of the book have increased significantly since Donald Trump won the presidency, and Atwood herself has participated in protests against the new administration.
As more and more anti-women measures are introduced on a state level, The Handmaid’s Tale has shifted from speculative fiction to an increasingly relevant and frightening allegory.
The red robes and white bonnets made for a striking image in the Texas State Capitol on Monday. Hopefully, lawmakers in the House will heed these women’s powerful message when the problematic bills come to the floor.
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Featured image via @nanarchist on Twitter