Dressed in red robes from the dystopian novel “Handmaid’s Tale,” abortion activists protested Saturday against the pro-life policies of the Donald Trump administration.
A small group protested on the steps of the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, wearing red robes and white hoods and claiming they are being oppressed because pro-life advocates are trying to keep unborn babies from being killed.
According to Crosscut, similar protests were scheduled across the United States as part of a “50 Handmaids in 50 States” event.
Abortion activists have latched onto the “Handmaid” novel-turned-TV show to claim the government is trying to control women by protecting unborn babies from abortion. Author Margaret Atwood herself also has criticized efforts to protect unborn babies and likened pro-life laws to slavery.
The book “centers around a dystopian future in which almost every human right, including the control over whom to have sex with, has been stripped from women. With its focus on women becoming unwilling human incubators for a religious ruling elite, the book has often been seen as offering commentary on the very contemporary debate over abortion …” according to Salon.
Here’s more about the Saturday protests:
It was organized by the Handmaid Coalition, a movement that uses the vivid imagery of silent handmaids to spark conversation about women’s rights. Saturday’s protest was in response to Trump’s executive orders, which will impact health care subsidies, abortion rights, access to birth control, the right for transgender individuals to serve in the military and more.
One protester claimed she was there to support religious freedom. Shannon Spencer from Eatonville, Washington told Crosscut, “This administration is tearing down everything that we know to be true in our country and they’re tearing down our right to not be forced into religion.”
Later, Spencer added, “If we allow this administration to continue, we will end up in this position where women don’t get to speak, where we’re not heard.”
A few young children also came with their parents to protest. Tara Ryan, 12, spoke to the local news about feeling “negative” about the future because of Trump and other conservative lawmakers. Photos also showed a child even younger than Ryan participating in the pro-abortion event.
Far from oppressing, America has some of the most unrestricted abortion laws in the world. The U.S. is one of only seven countries that allows abortions for any reason up to birth. Yet, abortion activists still are not satisfied.
And under pro-abortion President Barack Obama, religious groups such as Little Sisters of the Poor had to fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to find relief and protection for their religious freedom.
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Trump’s administration has been reversing some of Obama’s most onerous policies to protect religious freedom and the right to life.
His administration recently rolled back the Obamacare HHS mandate. The government now will provide broad exemptions to religious employers who object to paying for birth control, including forms that may cause abortions, in their employee health plans.
The Trump administration says the new rules are motivated by “our desire to bring to a close the more than five years of litigation” over the pro-abortion mandate. These include cases by the Little Sister of the Poor, Hobby Lobby and countless other religious organizations and businesses.
Much to the anger of abortion activists, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services strategic plan also vows to fight for protections for life “every stage of life, beginning at conception.”
And earlier this year, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement issued a new policy requiring that taxpayer-funded shelters for immigrants and refugees offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant, according to Slate.
Director Scott Lloyd, a Trump nominee, said the shelters “should not be supporting abortion services … only pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling.”
Over the summer, the new president’s administration also cut several million dollars in taxpayer-funded sex education grants to the Planned Parenthood abortion business. It cut several more million dollars in taxpayer-funded grants to the abortion chain for helping people sign up for Obamacare.
Trump also defunded the International Planned Parenthood abortion group during his first week in office. On Jan. 23, Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits U.S. taxpayer funding to groups that promote or perform abortions overseas. The policy does not stop non-abortion international assistance. It ensures U.S. foreign aid will continue to go to health care and humanitarian relief in the millions of dollars. It just will not subsidize abortion overseas.