Abortion curbs led to book: Atwood
Moves to limit women's access to abortion, particularly in the United States, led to The Testaments
By Reuters in London
Canadian author Margaret Atwood said moves to limit women's access to abortion, particularly in the United States, led to the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale which was released on Tuesday in a hotly-anticipated cultural event.
The Testaments sees Atwood pick up the story from her 1985 account of a totalitarian future in which fertile women are forced into sexual servitude to repopulate a world facing environmental disaster. She said she had not planned a sequel to the story, which was set in fictional Gilead in the US region of New England in the near future, but real life political events, including moves to limit women’s reproductive rights, led her to reconsider.
Margaret Atwood Thinks Roe v. Wade Will Be Overturned—and There Will Be the 'Most Horrific Backlash'
By Chantal Da Silva
As states across America continue to usher in new laws imposing restrictions on abortion, Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale has become increasingly relevant in its depiction of a totalitarian regime that sees women's bodies as properties of the state.
And now, as Atwood releases The Testaments, her much-anticipated sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, the Canadian author has also offered a premonition for the future of abortion laws in the U.S.
From TV to Real Life: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Co-Producer Discusses Women’s Rights Issues
By Bonnie Azoulay
When Wendy Straker Hauser started working as a co-producer on The Handmaid’s Tale, Donald Trump hadn’t yet won the presidency. She was just as shocked as viewers watching the show when they discovered how accurately Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel mimicked the politics unfolding in real time. Until I spoke to Hauser, I assumed that some of the events portrayed on the TV series were altered to reflect what was happening in modern-day America. But before it streamed on Hulu, the show was produced and shot months before she or her crew could have a chance to change any scenes to mirror current events.
How Margaret Atwood predicted America’s future in The Handmaid’s Tale
Posted by Jean Hannah Edelstein
Published Jun 18, 2019
“If you return to your country of origin, would you be persecuted on the basis of you being a woman?”
On the bank of a dark river, a Canadian customs official speaks these words to a woman who is lying on the ground, drenched in freezing river water, clutching a baby. She has just completed a harrowing near-death journey across the border, and this is part of the script that the officer must recite in order for her to seek refuge in Canada. The woman nods, shivering and frantic. “Do you wish to claim asylum?” the guard asks.
From Alabama to Armagh, women are on the front line waging the ‘war on abortion’
Far from being driven just by men, many female voices are heard in the anti-choice lobby
Sat 18 May 2019
Intensifying campaigns to criminalise all abortion in the US have been summarised, accurately, as a war on women, one that calls on women to, as the presidential contender Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has put it, “fight like hell”.
In terms of knowing the enemy, much of it, in the US, will certainly resemble the Alabama misogynists – the 25 white, male, no longer young Republicans who have just stripped half their state’s population of reproductive rights. Photographs have been generously distributed. But, as the men would probably be the first to admit, they couldn’t have ushered in a generation or more of unwanted children without assistance from at least two women combatants, Terri Collins and the state governor, Kay Ivey.
Reproductive Rights at Risk With or Without Roe
In much of the country, access to abortion has already been blocked by state governments, especially for women in poverty. And if Roe goes, access will be scarcer still.
January 11, 2019
Recent discussions of abortion rights have been understandably chock-full of apocalyptic imagery and language. Some protesters at the U.S. Capitol in the Trump era have dressed as handmaids à la The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s story of an ultra-conservative totalitarian government that compels women to have the children of the wealthy and powerful. After Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, many — on both the left and right — assumed that Roe v. Wade was soon to fall. “Roe v. Wade is doomed,”CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin pronounced last June to much media fanfare.
Italy’s politics gives new life to anti-abortion campaign
Italian cities and government ministers are taking aim at a 40-year-old law on reproductive rights.
By Giada Zampano
ROME — It is 40 years since Italy passed a law that legalized abortion, but activists fear a woman’s right to choose is again under attack — this time from the country’s politicians.
Thousands of women have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest against a rise in anti-abortion initiatives in Italian cities — but the same measures enjoy widespread backing among supporters of the country’s most powerful party, the far-right League, as well as the Catholic Church.
The pro-abortion crusade in Argentina
Nov 1, 2018
“’Better’ never means better for everyone… It always means worse for some.” We can find this poignant statement in a passage from Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale. This best-known work of fiction is one of the most enthralling dystopian novels ever written. Just like George Orwell’s 1984 or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the plot revolves around an ill-fated society in which citizens are subject to a totalitarian regime that has deprived them of their fundamental rights, including freedom. In The Handmaid’s Tale, however, there is neither Orwell’s omnipresent Big Brother, nor Bradbury’s “firemen” that burn books. Rather, at the heart of Atwood’s novel, a theocratic and puritan state treats the few fertile women that remain in Gilead territory (the ‘handmaids’) as mere incubators in order to ensure the survival of the nightmarish social regime.
How Canada’s growing anti-abortion movement plans to swing the next federal election
Anti-abortion lobbyists cheered Ontario’s election as evidence of success. Next up: an ambitious strategy for 2019.
Sep 12, 2018
When Doug Ford, newly minted as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, took the stage at the party’s leadership convention last March, he conspicuously thanked one person standing behind him: Tanya Granic Allen, an outspoken social conservative and leadership hopeful. Ford spoke of his intent “to return our province to where it belongs” before making a show of shaking Granic Allen’s hand. It was a small gesture with big import that would have been missed by many: Ford’s debt to “socons” and, speciﬁcally, the anti-abortion lobby that enabled his win.
Granic Allen was the top choice of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), a national group that works to nominate and elect candidates who oppose abortion at all levels of government, CLC vice-president Jeff Gunnarson tells Maclean’s.
'I Came to Put My Body On the Line': Both Inside and Outside Hearing, Women Lead Fight Against Kavanaugh Confirmation
"Many citizens before me have fought for the equal rights of women. I can't be silent when someone is nominated to the Supreme Court who would take our equal rights away."
by Julia Conley, staff writer
Sep 4, 2018
As the Senate Judiciary Committee proceeded with its confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday—whose appointment Planned Parenthood has said "would determine the health and freedom of countless women's lives"— it was women both inside and outside the hearing who led the charge against Kavanaugh's ascension to the highest court in the land.
NARAL Pro-Choice America shared that its Missouri and Washington chapters' executive directors, Alison Dreith and Tiffany Hankins, were among the more than 30 protesters who were arrested for demonstrating inside the hearing room.