Women around the country are donning long red robes and white Puritan-esque bonnets to protest for abortion rights. What are “handmaids,” and why were some recently walking through the Ohio Statehouse?
Liz Wolfe of Young Voices joined Wednesday’s “The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson” to talk about why women in red “handmaid” costumes were recently protesting Ohio Senate Bill 145. Wolfe wrote about the handmaid protest trend in a recent op-ed for the Washington Examiner.
The robe-clad protesters are inspired by the Margaret Atwoods novel “A Handmaid’s Tale,” a dystopian story about a theocratic society that has been turned into a popular TV series by Hulu. In the fictional society, only a few women are able to conceive and bear children. They are used as handmaids for the married women who can’t have children, becoming pregnant by their husbands in a “ceremony” involving rape.
Women in Ohio were protesting a bill that would restrict a certain type of abortion, portraying themselves as handmaids because of the legislation. The Ohio bill would ban the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, which involves dilating the cervix and using suction to extract the fetus. The Dismemberment Abortion Ban passed the Senate last week and will go to the Ohio House in the fall.
One problem with protests is that they bring out people with extreme views – but at the same time, we need to recognize that today’s political climate is quickly pulling extreme ideas into the mainstream, Wolfe asserted on Wednesday’s show. While it’s difficult to be moderate in today’s polarized society, people still have an opportunity to understand each other.
“There’s a lot more in common than people think,” Wolfe said.