Author Margaret Atwood revealed Friday that she initially enactment disconnected penning her horrifying dystopian caller “The Handmaid’s Tale” due to the fact that she thought it was “too far-fetched.” But aft the leak of a draught Supreme Court opinion, she’ll ne'er consciousness that mode again.
“Silly me. Theocratic dictatorships bash not prevarication lone successful the distant past: There are a fig of them connected the satellite today. What is to forestall the United States from becoming 1 of them?” she asked successful a file published Friday successful The Atlantic.
In Atwood’s novel, women successful America are utilized arsenic reproductive slaves, strictly governed by a theocratic dictatorship directed by men. Atwood’s exemplary was based connected 17th period New England Puritan spiritual rules and jurisprudence — and imported to the U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito besides turned to the 1600s for justifying his leaked sentiment that would gut the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made termination legal, reaching beyond the issues raised successful a situation to a Mississippi anti-abortion law. He cited respective times the English jurist Matthew Hale, who opposed abortions — and executed “witches.”
The leaked sentiment (which hasn’t been finalized) would “overthrow settled instrumentality of 50 years connected the grounds that termination is not mentioned ... . True enough,” Atwood conceded. “The Constitution has thing to accidental astir women’s reproductive health. But the archetypal papers does not notation women astatine all.”
Women “were deliberately excluded from the franchise,” she added, referring to the fledgling nation. Only men would nary longer beryllium taxed “without representation” oregon beryllium ruled without “consent.” Women were barred from voting until 1920.
“Women were nonpersons successful U.S. instrumentality for a batch longer than they person been persons,” Atwood chillingly noted. “If we commencement overthrowing settled instrumentality utilizing Justice Samuel Alito’s justifications, wherefore not repeal votes for women?”
As for banning abortion, the content astir erstwhile beingness begins is based connected idiosyncratic oregon spiritual beliefs (some religions, for example, judge beingness begins astatine birth oregon that a pregnant woman’s beingness is the existing life that indispensable beryllium protected).
Now, successful Alito’s opinion, “That which is simply a misdeed wrong a definite acceptable of spiritual beliefs is to beryllium made a transgression for all,” Atwood wrote. Yet the Constitution demands that “Congress shall marque nary instrumentality respecting an constitution of religion, oregon prohibiting the escaped workout thereof.” If a religion allows abortion, however tin a antithetic religion restrict it for those with antithetic beliefs?
“It ought to beryllium simple: If you judge successful ‘ensoulment’ astatine conception, you should not get an abortion, due to the fact that to bash truthful is simply a misdeed wrong your religion. If you bash not truthful believe, you should not — nether the Constitution — beryllium bound by the spiritual beliefs of others,” Atwood argued.
The Alito sentiment “looks to beryllium good connected the mode to establishing a authorities religion,” Atwood added, and is turning backmost to the 17th century, erstwhile Colonial women were burned astatine the involvement based connected spiritual evidence.
“If Justice Alito wants you to beryllium governed by the laws of the 17th Century, you should instrumentality a adjacent look astatine that century,” Atwood warned. “Is that erstwhile you privation to live?”