Women wrapped in red cloaks and wearing white bonnets gathered in the halls of the Texas state Capitol on Tuesday, channeling “The Handmaid’s Tale” to protest a slew of anti-abortion bills on the state’s legislative calendar.
Standing side by side, the women each held signs outlining the history of abortion restrictions passed in Texas in the decades since the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure nationwide.
— NARAL Pro-Choice TX (@naraltx) May 9, 2017
— Alexa Garcia-Ditta (@agarciaditta) May 9, 2017
— Madlin Mekelburg (@madlinbmek) May 9, 2017
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood that debuted as a television series last month, tells the story of a dystopian future in which women’s rights are suppressed and a class of women are used solely for reproductive purposes.
The protest comes as conservative Texas lawmakers work to pass a set of bills aimed at restricting abortion in the state. One bill, for example, would require fetal tissue to be cremated or buried. Another measure would bar abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving state funding.
While abortion remains legal nationwide, many states have passed laws that advocates of abortion rights say restrict women’s access to the procedure and other reproductive health services and sidesteps federal protections.
A dozen abortion rights and civil rights groups last week delivered a set of petitions signed by more than 15,500 Texans to state lawmakers, urging them to halt votes on the measures, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Lawmakers supporting the legislation are pushing the Texas House to vote ahead of looming legislative deadlines.