On Monday, the Texas Senate considered several abortion-related bills, including Senate Bill 415, a bill that would effectively ban a safe and common procedure used for second trimester abortions, which anti-choice legislators have taken to calling a “dismemberment abortion ban.” It passed and will now head to the House.
The Senate also inched forward with Senate Bill 25 ― the bill that would effectively allow doctors to lie to pregnant women if they detect a fetal anomaly and are concerned their patient might have an abortion ― and that will head for a final vote on the floor soon.
But in the Senate chambers on Monday, a group of Texas women were having none of it.
Activists headed to the Texas Senate chambers decked out in full red robes, in homage to characters in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s classic (and suddenly distressingly relevant) feminist tome.
2 DPS officers, Senate door guy & sergeant at arms have positioned themselves around a group of #handmaidstale activists in Senate #txlege pic.twitter.com/UC54ZlULQd
— Alexa Garcia-Ditta (@agarciaditta) March 20, 2017
Women dressed as handmaids are protesting anti-abortion bills at the Capitol. #FightBackTX #txlege pic.twitter.com/w5EQfBqNtG
— PPTV (@PPTXVotes) March 20, 2017
A Handmaid's Tale comes to life in the Senate Gallery. #FightBackTX pic.twitter.com/aLAOLRKH2j
— Whole Woman's Health (@WholeWomans) March 20, 2017
The Handmaids have entered the #txlege. #sb415 #fightbacktx pic.twitter.com/Fpa9cNGHR0
— Nan L. Kirkpatrick (@nanarchist) March 20, 2017
The novel tells the story of a dystopian society in which women have no rights and many ― including the book’s protagonist “Offred” ― are forced to be breeders, wearing heavy red robes. Sales of the book have soared since President Donald Trump’s election.
The scene sent a clear visual message to the Texas Senate that women are ready to push back against the increase in anti-choice legislature. Pictures of the sheroes activists made the rounds on Twitter with the hashtag #FightBackTX.
It’s not the only time recently that women have used clothing to send a strong message to legislators. Democratic women wore white to hear President Trump’s first address to Congress last month, an homage to the suffragists and a rebuke of misogynistic policies.
Offred would be proud.
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