TV & FILM

'Disgusting': 'Handmaid's Tale' Star Ann Dowd Shreds Abortion Crackdowns

The actress known for playing Aunt Lydia in the Hulu series had some stern words for abortion opponents.

Actress Ann Dowd lambasted abortion opponents in an interview released Friday, speaking out against the wave of legislation restricting women’s access to the procedure.

“It’s absolutely disgusting to me,” Dowd, who plays Aunt Lydia in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” told Newsweek. “Go to church and ask for forgiveness: That’s my advice to all of you who are dying to shut down women’s rights.”

Dowd’s character in the show, which is based on Margaret Atwood’s futuristic 1985 novel of the same name, is a strict, authoritarian figure who indoctrinates fertile women into a system of sexual slavery in which their sole worth lies in their ability to reproduce.

Since its inception, the program has become a source of inspiration for political activists who have dressed in the iconic red capes and white bonnets worn by the handmaids while protesting abortion restrictions as well as the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Dowd joined in the criticism of abortion bans that have cropped up in several states this year, condemning their advocates.

“The drama and the sensationalizing from the point of view of the people who want to pass these bills is appalling,” she said. “I’m enraged about how the situation is being portrayed.”

On Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed legislation to outlaw abortions once a heartbeat is detected in the embryo, meaning as early as six weeks.

Similar measures have been passed in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri, though a federal judge halted Kentucky’s ban in March on the grounds that it may be unconstitutional. 

Less than three weeks ago, the nation saw its toughest abortion bill signed into law by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), who approved a near-total ban on the procedure, allowing it only when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The law is scheduled to take effect within six months, but it will likely face legal challenges during that time, which may delay or stop its implementation altogether.

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