'Ohio Handmaids' use the message of 'The Handmaid's Tale' to protest abortion bill at OH Statehouse

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Women took to the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to protest Senate Bill 145, which aims to criminalize what anti-abortion activists call “dismemberment abortion.” The medical term is dilation and evacuation.

The protest may have been a silent one, but it spoke loudly on social media. The women wore red capes and white bonnets, resembling the costumes worn by handmaids in Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel, the 1990 film, and the new Hulu series, "The Handmaid's Tale."

In the novel, women are forced into having children for couples that form an elite class. 

Sixteen women sat silently while the Senate Judiciary Committee heard initial testimony on the bill. The women were dubbed the "Ohio Handmaids" for their distinctive outfits.

Abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Women Have Options organized the protest. Republican Senators Matt Huffman and Steve Wilson testified in support of the bill as the women sat with their bonnets bowed.

The measure would prohibit doctors from using forceps or similar instruments on a live fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces. Seven states have such bans.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio live-streamed the protest to its Facebook page. The video has since received more than 84,000 views. 

Similar protests have taken place in other states like Texas and Missouri.

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