Missouri & The Handmaid’s Tale

I’ve often wondered if Margaret Atwood, when she wrote The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, was tuning in on the future. We haven’t quite arrived at the point where all fertile women serve at the will of powerful men and must wear the red handmaid’s garb, but Missouri is now one step closer to that Dystopian vision.

Three weeks ago, that state’s health director – a white man – told Planned Parenthood that in order to renew their license in the state, all women seeking abortions had to be subjected to a state-mandated internal exam three days before the procedure. This unnecessary exam is a punitive measure to discourage women from having abortions. Physicians at the last clinic in Missouri that performs abortions said they would comply in order to keep the clinic open.

Tonight, Dr. David Eisenberg, the clinic’s medical director, said,“We no longer need to do this unnecessary and medically unethical, invasive, uncomfortable pelvic exam as part of informed consent. We are choosing to provide the best quality, patient-centered care that we’ve always provided at Planned Parenthood. That includes doing things that are driven by science, by evidence and by what’s medically appropriate.” To continue this medically unnecessary exam, Eisenberg said,
“Is just assault.”

In other words, the clinic is defying the state-mandated law.

Missouri, by the way, makes no except for rape or incest. So whether a woman is raped by her father or a stranger, she must, by state law, carry that baby to term.

Roe v Wade has been federal law since December 1973. That was 46 years ago and so-called pro-life advocates have been trying to overturn it ever since. These are the same people who claim that every human life is precious, yet when a child is born, well, sorry, you’re on your own. No universal health care for you, no child care unless your parents have money, and frankly, we’d like to make all education private because having the public pay for it is, you know, SOCIALISM.

But the central issue with abortion is that the woman is the one who gets pregnant, it’s her body, and it should be her choice whether she carries the baby to term. No one mandates the way a man uses his body, but if Roe v Wade is overturned, then there should be laws that do so.

Daily, we creep closer and closer to what Atwood envisioned in the Republic of Gilead, a Dystopian world where women are completely subjected to the will of men. I realize there are plenty of women who support trump and the republican agenda that makes such extreme laws possible. Many of you are mothers with daughters who, at some point in the future, may experience an unwanted pregnancy – through rape, carelessness, or within an abusive relationship. Some of these daughters may be young or impoverished or hampered in some way. Why shouldn’t they have the choice of terminating a pregnancy? Why bring a child into conditions like this?

Some months back, when immigrant children were being rounded up and put in detention camps by the trump administration, I argued with a republican neighbor about this. And he said, “Trish, if your daughter was killed by an drunk illegal immigrant driving a car, how would you feel?”

My response? It was more likely that the driver would be a white guy who’d had one too many at the local bar. My response should have been, “How would you feel if a gunman walked into your daughter’s high school and opened fire?”

It’s all part of the same maniacal, divisive  culture in which we find ourselves at this particular juncture in the second decade of the 21st century.


This entry was posted in synchronicity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Missouri & The Handmaid’s Tale

  1. lauren raine says:

    Our country is no longer the “united” states of america at this point. Trump has done a good job of deconstructing a country. I find what Steven A. Swartz found in his 2050 Project with remote viewers https://youtu.be/avbsEEz98Ck
    seems to be coming true ……… the U.S. is devolving, as the U.S.S.R. did perhaps as it returned to smaller ethnic countries, back into state systems or bio-regions. The good news is that as states like Missouri and Alabama regress to the patriarchal era of the Spanish Inquisition, other states, like Colorado, California, New Mexico, and others are stepping up to the plate and making abortions legal and available, along with birth control and respect for women’s rights.

    I couldn’t bear to watch the first Handmaids Tale movie, which I think I saw in the late 80’s, it was so disturbing, and although I was very pleased at the attention the new film has had, I haven’t watched it for fear of raising my blood pressure too high! But I have always applauded Margaret Atwood for her keen wit, feminism, and sense of the dark underbelly of the future.

    Also, as one of many young girls who were forced by circumstances (no access to abortion, birth control, or even much in the way of sex education) in the 60’s to bear an unwanted child, I know first hand not only the suffering, but also the numbers involved. These women who are being forced to bear, and often end up trying to raise, unwanted children are usually children themselves, with few resources for the job. And adoption…………there is a lot of suffering there too, and contrary to the “save the fetus” propaganda, the ones that get adopted are usually only from “prime” mothers, i.e., white and healthy. Babies of color, babies that come from mothers with health or addiction problems …………don’t come into this world with much hope. And their mothers are punished for being female.

    And your bigoted aquaintance…….jeez. I wouldn’t know how to respond to a comment like that! The fact is, the vast amount of murders, and traffic fatalities, in this country are committed by young white men. Just check out the statistics for gun massacre shooters. Statistically speaking, the scariest population in America, and possibly in the whole world, are white men, not some poor migrant man or woman trying to make a better life, or fleeing drought or gangs and begging for asylum. I live in the midst of it here in southern Arizona, and one of the most despicable things trump has done is to victimize and blame, just as all fascists do, one of the most helpless and tragic groups of people, refugees and migrant workers. It is nothing that makes me want to celebrate the 4th of July. As far as I’m concerned, the founding fathers would be rolling in their graves if they could see what is going on now. End of rant!

    • Trish and Rob says:

      The series, Lauren, is really worth a look, despite the risk of high blood pressure. It’s somehow more horrifying and vivid as a TV series, I think, than as a movie.And love your rants!

  2. Dale Dassel says:

    Makes me wonder if the real aliens (ETs) know what a f-ed up planet this is? Earth is probably a primitive backwater civilization compared to the cultured worlds these beings customarily ally with. No wonder they don’t make their presence public!