A group of women dressed as characters from the dystopian novel and television series The Handmaid’s Tale to protest an anti-abortion bill in Ohio.
Senate Bill 145 would make it illegal for women in their second trimester to have the dilation and evacuation procedure. The bill is being co-sponsored by Ohio Republican Senators Joe Uecker and Peggy Lehner as well as others.
According to Cincinnati.com, abortion opponents want to ban the procedure, which they call “dismemberment” and consider a “barbaric” practice.
The protest against the bill was organized by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Women Have Options as they have done in similarly in Texas and Missouri, according to Cleveland.com.
The bill was introduced in an effort to prevent accessibility to these safe medical services in Ohio. Cleveland.com reported that eight out of the 16 clinics have shut down or stopped providing the service altogether. Governor John Kasich has signed into law measures that restricted clinics from proceeding with the medical procedure.
Kasich signed a bill that banned any abortions from being conducted after 20 weeks, according to Cincinnati.com.
According to BBC News, the critics of the bill consider it unconstitutional.
The Handmaid’s Tale, a novel written by Margaret Atwood, is set in a near future where fertile women are enslaved and forced to birth children for the elites of the society.
The women dressed in The Handmaid’s Tale’s iconic red robe and white bonnet sat in silence as the hearing proceeded, according to BBC News. The symbolism of the Handmaid’s wardrobe contests the bill as a protest for a woman’s right to choose.
The executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Kellie Copeland, stated, “The goals are all the same: to outlaw abortion,” according to Cincinnati.com.
The bill would make the medical procedure a fourth-degree felony for a physician if accepted into law, with the exception that it be conducted if the mother’s life was at risk, according to People.
According to Cleveland.com, seven states have banned the dilation and evacuation procedure since 2015 but have been put on hold due to appeals filed in court.
The outlet also reported that the protest was criticized by the director of communications for Ohio Right to Life, Katherine Franklin, stating that it made a “mockery” of a serious issue.
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