Women Dressed Like Handmaids in Columbus Today To Protest Kasich's 19th Abortion Restriction


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  • Photo via ProgressOhio/Facebook
Building off the popularity of Hulu's hit TV show The Handmaid’s Tale, women in states like Missouri and Texas have protested various reproductive rights bills and laws dressed in the white bonnets and blood red robes first depicted in Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel. Today, women in Ohio followed suit. 

ProgressOhio, a community organization based in Columbus, filmed the quiet protesters via Facebook Live as they eerily walked into today's state house hearing on a new abortion bill. During the meeting, the women remained silent with their heads down — as they do in The Handmaid's Tale, about a near-future where women are property and fertile "handmaids" are forced to have babies for infertile couples.
Last year, Gov. Kasich Ohio signed a bill that made Ohio the 19th state to ban abortions midway through pregnancy. Today, the 20 "handmaid" volunteers, all involved with organizations like NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Women Have Options, sat in on a hearing for Senate Bill 145, which would "criminalize and create civil action for dismemberment abortion." If passed, it would be the 19th abortion restriction since Kasich took office.
The woman behind the camera, ProgressOhio's Executive Director Sandy Theis, was eventually asked to leave the room after being told to turn off her device multiple times.

"I feel strongly that my daughter shouldn't have to fight the fight that my mother and myself did," Theis said. "Why do they keep worrying about abortions? What are they doing about things like the infant mortality rate and terribly performing charter schools?"

Theis, who is a member of Ohio's NARAL board, said there were even more women who wanted to protest, but numbers needed to remain small. As for the cool head wear, protesters made the bonnets themselves during a hat-making party, Theis said.

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