The Handmaid’s Tale is popular among Hulu viewers for good reason: It provides commentary on what many see as a scarily conceivable future for women in the United States.
It seems like more people feel this way than maybe even we realized.
Today, in protest of the Senate GOP’s health care bill, 30 volunteers from Planned Parenthood donned the famous Handmaid’s Tale uniform and stood outside the Capitol building.
As reported by The Hill, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts Communications Director Fern Whyland said the passing of the bill — which would deny Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding for a year — would “devastate” women.
Luckily (for now), the vote on the bill to repeal Obamacare (aka the Better Care Reconciliation Act) was delayed until after the July 4th recess.
But the “handmaids” aren’t done — in fact, they have more protests like this planned for the future, according to one of the costumed volunteers named Elena Lipsiea.
Lipsiea added that this isn’t the first time they’ve protested, having done so at the New York State Capitol in 2016 in outfits similar to the ones they wore Tuesday.
For those of us who haven’t read the book or started the series (aka the people who will be doing so immediately following today’s events), The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of a society in which a class of women, the handmaids, are raped for reproductive purposes — and forced to wear signature (creepy) red robes).
“It felt like, this could very well be our future. And it’s definitely our past,” Brooklyn-based Vanessa Giraldo told NBC News at a similar demonstration she participated in, fully dressed in handmaid garb, last week in Albany, New York.
From Ohio to Texas, California, Tennessee, Missouri, New York, and now our nation’s capital, these amazing displays of silent, strong solidarity are popping up everywhere.
For now, we’re glad PP will continue to be available to Medicaid recipients, but we also know a delay in the vote doesn’t mean much for the possibility of the bill’s eventual passing. Planned Parenthood clinics could shutter one by one until they’re all gone.
The bill would also leave 22 million more people without health insurance.
Let’s band together to use this recess wisely. Call and email your senators. Leave them (multiple) messages. Stage protests. Every one of us can make a difference in ensuring PP continues to be able to help women, and that healthcare will continue to be available and affordable to those who need it most.