On Monday, the Texas Senate considered several abortion-related bills, including Senate Bill 415, a regulation that would effectively ban a safe and common procedure used for second trimester abortions, which anti-choice legislators have taken to calling a “dismemberment abortion ban.” It passed and will now head to the House.
The Senate also inched forward with SB 25 ― a bill that would effectively allow doctors to lie to pregnant women if they detect a fetal anomaly and are concerned their patients might opt for abortion. It will likely head for a final vote on the floor this week.
But in the Senate chambers on Monday, a group of Texas women were having none of it. The activists arrived decked out in full red robes, an homage to characters in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood’s classic (and distressingly relevant) feminist tome.
The novel tells the story of a dystopian society in which women have no rights and many ― including the book’s protagonist “Offred” ― are forced to serve as breeders and wear heavy red robes. Sales of the book have soared since President Donald Trump’s election.
The scene in Texas sent a quiet warning to legislators that women are ready to push back against the recent increase in anti-choice legislation in states across the country. Pictures of the sheroes quickly made the rounds on Twitter with the hashtag #FightBackTX.
It’s not the only recent example of women using clothing to broadcast a message in legislative quarters. Democratic women wore white to hear President Trump’s first address to Congress last month, a nod to the suffragists and a rebuke of misogynistic policies.
Offred would be proud.