By Victor Ochieng
More women across the country are joining protests against anti-abortion laws springing up in different states. Many of these women adopt a protest style that borrows from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian feminist novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The protests are characterized with women donning long red attires and white bonnets.
The latest state to witness such a protest was Ohio. This happened on Tuesday when women jammed the Statehouse in protest against Senate Bill 145, a bill proposing a ban on the most commonly applied second-trimester abortion method.
A tweet by NARAL ProChoice Ohio read, “SB 145 will ban the most commonly used abortion procedure in the 2nd trimester. #OHHandmaids are here to show the impact of abortion bans.”
Another tweet that featured a picture of the women seated at the statehouse said: “The #OhioHandmaids are awaiting the next hearing to restrict their rights.”
Several pictures captured of the protesting women showed them dressed in the signature attires as they walked in the Statehouse in pairs in a similar fashion as depicted in Atwood’s novel, more specifically the famed Hulu adaptation. The women’s eyes were downcast even as they patiently waited for the commencement of the first hearing on the bill.
The bill seeks to ban Dilation and evacuation, commonly referred to as D&E, a proven safe method for performing second-trimester abortions. Several institutions have come out to oppose SB 145. The Guttmacher Institute, for example, has protested the ban saying the move would disproportionately disadvantage women who’re not privileged enough to secure timely abortions.
A similar scene was witnessed in Texas where women wore the handmaid’s robes to protest Senate Bill 415, which also targets the second-trimester abortion method. Anti-choice legislators were up in arms to pass the bill, a bill they referred to as “dismemberment abortion ban.” Senators marshaled enough numbers to pass the bill, opening the door for it to proceed to the House.
Then there was the Senate Bill 25, which would give doctors the option to lie to pregnant women where there is a fetal anomaly and the doctor believes the patient is likely to resort to abortion.
Such are the laws that these women are against. This is what prompted several pro-choice female protesters to deck out in “The Handmaid’s Tale” robes and strongly express their disapproval of the laws.
What will become of the Ohio Senate Bill isn’t known yet, but it appears the Senators are out to pass it without amendments.