Texas Legislature Votes On Anti-Abortion Bill as 'Handmaidens' Fill the Gallery in Protest

Screengrab via Hulu.

On Monday, the Texas Senate voted on a bill that would ban “dilation and evacuation” for second-trimester abortions, considered the safest and most commonly used method during that stage of a pregnancy. Up in the visitors gallery, silent protestors sat wearing red and white, dressed as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Associated Press reports that the bill passed in a vote of 21-9, and has been sent on to the state House. Some of the women were escorted out after holding up protest signs, but there are a lot of pictures of them in and around the Capitol building:


Alexa Garcia-Ditta, who tweeted the above photo, works for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, which released a statement on the vote that says the new measure “would prevent doctors from using their best medical judgment when treating their patients and would put patients’ health, safety and lives at risk. Every woman’s pregnancy experience is different, and doctors need all options available to treat their individual patients.”

The bill is framed as a “prohibition on the performance of dismemberment abortions,” and would only leave suction as an option for removing a fetus from a womb, no matter the circumstances. The AP notes that similar bans have been struck down in four other states.


A striking visual, especially for fans of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel who fear the imminent arrival of Gilead. It does make me wonder what Texas legislators voting in favor of the ban think of the demonstration. Have they read The Handmaid’s Tale, and if so, did it serve as a blueprint instead of a warning?

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Aimée Lutkin

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin