Gemma Faithfull | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 28 June 2017

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Planned Parenthood Are Protesting In Washington, The Handmaid's Tale Style

The Debrief: Dozens of women dressed as handmaids were protesting the proposed healthcare bill and the devastating impact it would have on American citizens

On Tuesday, volunteers from Planned Parenthood gathered in protest outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C. adorned in red capes and white bonnets, as inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Dozens of women were protesting the proposed healthcare bill and the devastating impact it would have on American citizens.

If passed, the GOP Senate bill would cut health insurance for approximately twenty-two million people, with the elderly and low income citizens being the most affected. Also, Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organisation that provides sexual health care, particularly for women, would be defunded. This would lead to massive implications for many women as they rely on PP for the provision of essential services like abortion and birth control.

The bill completely undermines the idea of healthcare and Fern Whyland, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts’ communications direction expressed her concern through an interview with The Hill in which she said 'it would be the worst bill for women in generations and decimate women’s healthcare.'

Similar protests have been staged in other major cities around the US where activists have also worn the uniform. Dressing up as a handmaid plays on an iconic dystopian image and in turn expresses the gravity and severity of the proposed plans. The book The Handmaid’s Tale has been brought back into the spotlight as a television adaptation created by Hulu was premiered this year. The story is set in a society where women are objectified and used for a purpose. They are enslaved and sorted into roles. ‘Handmaids’ are used for reproduction in order to breed the best offspring, and are forced into wearing a uniform, which has now been embodied by female rights activists.

It was announced in the afternoon that Senate leaders had decided to delay the vote until after the 4th of July.

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