Why Protesters Are Using The Handmaid's Tale to Fight the GOP Healthcare Bill

Why Protesters Are Using The Handmaid's Tale to Fight the GOP Healthcare Bill

Planned Parenthood volunteers are staging a protest outside the Capital in garb inspired by the dystopian series.

Planned Parenthood volunteers are staging a protest outside the Capital in garb inspired by the dystopian series.

Text: Carolyn Hanson

Many disadvantaged people are waiting with bated breath right now for the Senate's decision on the GOP's healthcare replacement bill, a decision we now know isn't going to come until at least after July 4. However, in order to see where the bill lies in the court of public opinion, one needs to look no further than the senate steps, where 30 Planned Parenthood protesters showed up dressed as handmaidens, the subjugated characters from the classic novel and now hit Hulu show, The Handmaid's Tale.

In the novel, the only fertile women left in the country are rounded up, stripped of their identities, and forced to serve as handmaidens–surrogate mothers for the babies of the elite. It's a commentary on class and reproductive rights, which makes it the perfect context within which to protest the proposed bill, which "would be the worst bill for women in generations and decimate women's healthcare," according to a statement Fern Whyland, the communications director for Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, made to The Hill. The protest is reminiscent of the other places we've seen handmaidens popping up recently–and with the frequency with which we see them popping up, it's clear there is something worth being concerned about.

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