An Ohio Senate Committee hearing yesterday on a proposed new anti-abortion law for the state was attended by some unexpected visitors: several women dressed head to toe in blood red garb and bonnets a la The Handmaid’s Tale.
The costume is the identifying outfit of a ‘Handmaid’ in Margarat Atwood’s novel-turned-Hulu-sensation – a rare fertile woman made to carry children for their male ‘commanders.’
The Ohio Senate Bill 145, the law being discussed at yesterday’s hearing, bans ‘dilation & evacuation’ abortions, by far the most safe and common means of receiving an abortion in the second-trimester, thus criminalizing termination of a pregnancy after the first trimester. The law comes in the wake of Texas passing a similar bill that also calls for mandatory ‘fetal funerals.’
Vashitta Johnson, Field and Political Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said in Dazed’s report: “Men expect women to sit back, be controlled, you know? You control our bodies, tell us what to do. I guess the significance of the Handmaids is to make them squirm in their seats.”
The Handmaids remained silent throughout the hearing, letting their costumes do the talking. Johnson continued: “You can’t do anything to kick them out. They’re not doing anything to interrupt the committee; they’re not posing a threat to anyone.”
While the court banned filming of its hearing (umm, what are they hiding?) social images of the protesting women went viral:
— NARAL ProChoice Ohio (@ProChoiceOH) June 13, 2017
— Jackie Borchardt (@JMBorchardt) June 13, 2017