Resisting the Trump-Pence administration's anti-choice and anti-woman agenda, dozens of woman dressed as handmaids from the novel and TV series "The Handmaid's Tale" are planning to greet Vice President Mike Pence when he arrives in Philadelphia on Monday for a GOP fundraiser.
The white bonnets and red dresses and capes worn by the protesters will mimic those of handmaids in Hulu's dramatic series and Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel, in which women are forced to give birth to the children of powerful men.
"We just felt that the visual of the 'Handmaid's Tale' costumes, a society in which women in Gilead are stripped of their most basic rights and their humanity, was appropriate," organizer Samantha Goldman told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The protest comes two weeks after President Donald Trump named Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has praised Justice William Rehnquist's dissent in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which affirmed women's constitutional right to abortion care, and last year ruled against a young immigrant who pleaded with him and two other judges on an appeals panel to allow her to have an abortion.
During his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump pledged that the end of Roe v. Wade "will happen" during his presidency.
Pence, denounced as a "vicious theocrat" by Refuse Fascism, has also been known as one of the most vehemently anti-choice politicians in Washington. As a congressman, he proposed multiple measures aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood and blocking patient care there. While serving as Indiana's governor, Pence signed eight anti-choice bills, including one that barred women from obtaining abortions in the case of fetal abnormalities.
"Pence is one of the most dangerous reactionary figures in modern history," wrote the group Refuse Fascism on its event website. "He is a key figure in ushering in a theocratic society right out of 'The Handmaid's Tale.' A Christian Fascist, he has made it his life mission to terrorize women and the LGBTQ community and people of color. It is only fitting that Pence be greeted with 100 women dressed as handmaids. A visual representation of Pence's end game of women totally stripped of their rights and humanity."