Abortion advocates have been dressing up as handmaids from “The Handmaid’s Tale” to protest restrictions on abortion in statehouses in Texas, Missouri, and now Ohio.
In Margaret Atwood’s novel-turned-Hulu series, the few fertile women remaining post-nuclear and chemical fallout are forced to conceive and bear children for the elites of the dystopian Republic of Gilead. Whenever the handmaids leave the homes where they’re posted, which is not often, they must travel in pairs, wear red capes to cover their bodies, and white hoods to shield their faces.
Pro-abortion organizations NARAL and Women Have Options dispatched 16 protestors dressed up like handmaids on Tuesday to sit quietly while the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 145 — a bill which would ban the dismemberment of pre-born babies during an abortion.
— Rachel Coyle (@RachelCoyleOhio) June 13, 2017
“The handmaids are forced to give birth and, in so many cases, because of all the restrictions on abortion access, women in Ohio and across the country are being forced to give birth,” Jaime Miracle, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio told Cleveland.com.
In the mind of these abortion advocates, women dressed as handmaids—sitting quietly while Senators discuss banning most second trimester abortions in the state—will make us all think we’re headed towards an Orwellian future.
But this is absurd. Protecting babies from being literally ripped apart and yanked out of their mothers’ wombs is not at all similar to the scenarios in Atwood’s book. In “The Handmaid’s Tale,” women are treated like chattel — banned from owning property, possessing money, or holding a job. If a woman is caught writing, her hand will be cut off. When a handmaid is caught having an affair with a servant, she is forced to undergo female genital mutilation as punishment.
In many parts of the world, women are vulnerable to such abuses. In 29 African countries, the practice of female genital mutilation is prominent. In Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive, wear makeup, or clothes that “show off their beauty.” They aren’t allowed to interact with men at all. In Guatemala, women are frequently killed by their own families.
To compare restrictions on abortion — especially the practice of literally ripping apart children in utero — to the abuses many women still suffer around the world today is both intellectually insulting and downright dishonest.