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Margaret Atwood As soon as Thought ‘Handmaid’s Story’ Was ‘Too Far-Fetched.’ No Longer.

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Margaret Atwood As soon as Thought ‘Handmaid’s Story’ Was ‘Too Far-Fetched.’ No Longer.


Creator Margaret Atwood revealed Friday that she initially delay writing her horrifying dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a result of she thought it was “too far-fetched.” However after the leak of a draft Supreme Court docket opinion, she’ll by no means really feel that approach once more.

“Foolish me. Theocratic dictatorships do not lie only in the distant past: There are a variety of them on the planet at the moment. What’s to forestall the US from turning into considered one of them?” she requested in a column revealed Friday in The Atlantic.

In Atwood’s novel, ladies in America are used as reproductive slaves, strictly ruled by a theocratic dictatorship directed by males. Atwood’s mannequin was based mostly on seventeenth century New England Puritan spiritual guidelines and jurisprudence — and imported to the U.S.

Supreme Court docket Justice Samuel Alito additionally turned to the 1600s for justifying his leaked opinion that will intestine the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion authorized, reaching past the problems raised in a problem to a Mississippi anti-abortion regulation. He cited a number of instances the English jurist Matthew Hale, who opposed abortions — and executed “witches.”

The leaked opinion (which hasn’t been finalized) would “overthrow settled regulation of fifty years on the grounds that abortion shouldn’t be talked about … . True sufficient,” Atwood conceded. “The Structure has nothing to say about ladies’s reproductive well being. However the unique doc doesn’t point out ladies in any respect.”

Girls “had been intentionally excluded from the franchise,” she added, referring to the fledgling nation. Solely males would now not be taxed “with out illustration” or be dominated with out “consent.” Girls had been barred from voting till 1920.

“Girls had been nonpersons in U.S. regulation for lots longer than they’ve been individuals,” Atwood chillingly famous. “If we begin overthrowing settled regulation utilizing Justice Samuel Alito’s justifications, why not repeal votes for ladies?”

As for banning abortion, the assumption about when life begins relies on private or spiritual beliefs (some religions, for example, believe life begins at birth or {that a} pregnant woman’s life is the existing life that should be protected).

Now, in Alito’s opinion, “That which is a sin inside a sure set of non secular beliefs is to be made a criminal offense for all,” Atwood wrote. But the Structure calls for that “Congress shall make no regulation respecting an institution of faith, or prohibiting the free train thereof.” If a faith permits abortion, how can a unique faith limit it for these with completely different beliefs?

“It must be easy: In the event you consider in ‘ensoulment’ at conception, you shouldn’t get an abortion, as a result of to take action is a sin inside your faith. If you don’t so consider, you shouldn’t — beneath the Structure — be sure by the spiritual beliefs of others,” Atwood argued.

The Alito opinion “appears to be nicely on the way in which to establishing a state faith,” Atwood added, and is popping again to the seventeenth century, when Colonial ladies had been burned on the stake based mostly on spiritual proof.

“If Justice Alito desires you to be ruled by the legal guidelines of the seventeenth Century, you must take a detailed have a look at that century,” Atwood warned. “Is that once you wish to stay?”

Take a look at the full column here.





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