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Women Protest Healthcare Bill in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’-Inspired Costumes

A group of Planned Parenthood volunteers donning red cloaks and white bonnets gathered to protest Tuesday at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The crowd was channeling “The Handmaid’s Tale” in opposition to the Senate’s proposed healthcare bill.

“It would be the worst bill for women in generations and decimate women’s healthcare,” Fern Whyland, communications director at Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, told The Hill. “It’s a healthcare bill with no health care.”

Protesters gathered in the nation’s capital to kick off a series of speeches called “People’s Filibuster” in an effort to stop the bill from restricting or eliminating Planned Parenthood funding. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday afternoon that the governing body will not vote on the bill until after the July Fourth holiday.

In a similar protest last May, women gathered in “Handmaid’s Tale” attire in the halls of the Texas state Capitol building to protest anti-abortion laws.

The choice to invoke “The Handmaid’s Tale” comes during a time when Hulu’s television adaptation of the story has brought the ideas from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel back into public consciousness. The story is set in a near-future dystopia in a totalitarian society of the former United States, and depicts dark oppression toward women — with handmaids forced to dress in uniform to show their place and are obliged to have ritualized sex to bear children.

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