The Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss encouraged pro-abortion protesters this week to keep comparing the United States to the show’s dystopian society in which fertile women are chattel.
The Emmy-winning Hulu show, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, depicts a society devastated by low fertility rates brought on by unspecified environmental damage. A theocratic patriarchy overthrows the U.S. government and conscripts the remaining fertile women—handmaids distinguished by red cloaks and white, face-shielding bonnets—to bear the children of the wealthy.
Pro-abortion demonstrators began donning handmaid costumes at protests soon after the show premiered. Last month, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris of California compared Alabama to The Handmaid’s Tale after it passed a law to make abortion illegal at all stages of pregnancy. (The law makes abortion a criminal act for abortionists, not women.)
“It’s an apt comparison,” Moss said Wednesday on the ABC talk show The View.
But the pro-abortion movement has more in common with the evil dictators in The Handmaid’s Tale than its supporters admit. The story’s villains treat babies as property as much as the handmaids who bear them. In Gilead, the tale’s fictional post-America dystopia, handmaids have children not because children are good and a gift but because the barren wives of the upper class want them. Prams, onesies, and cribs are status symbols in Gilead, where there’s no respect for the bond between mother and child. The wealthy steal the children of the poor and then cast aside the mothers.
In contrast, pro-life pregnancy centers work to nurture the bond between mother and child. Babies are respected for their inherent dignity and worth, and women are told they do not have to be rich to be a good mother. True, neither pro-lifers nor the evil lords of Gilead want women to have abortions, but for very different reasons. One group wants children born free and placed in the loving arms of their mothers, while the other wants children born only to serve the desires of the powerful. The pro-abortion movement says that whether a child lives or dies depends not on that child’s worth, but on the decision of someone more powerful—an argument well-suited for Gilead. —Lynde Langdon