“The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood warned Friday in an essay for The Atlantic that the Supreme Court is making Gilead, her fictional theocratic dictatorship, a reality.
WHAT SHE SAID
Atwood revealed that she had initially worried her 1985 feminist novel about a dystopian America in which members of the patriarchy own female sex slaves would be “too far-fetched.”
- “Silly me,” Atwood quipped in retrospect, citing last week’s leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that created a constitutional right to abortion.
- “Theocratic dictatorships do not lie only in the distant past: There are a number of them on the planet today. What is to prevent the United States from becoming one of them?”
- “If we start overthrowing settled law using Justice Samuel Alito’s justifications, why not repeal votes for women?” she asked at another point.
Atwood accused Alito of trying to impose his “hard line” religious belief that that human life begins at conception on all Americans, contrary to the First Amendment.
- “If you do not so believe, you should not — under the Constitution — be bound by the religious beliefs of others. But should the Alito opinion become the newly settled law, the United States looks to be well on the way to establishing a state religion,” she wrote.
- “The Alito opinion purports to be based on America’s Constitution. But it relies on English jurisprudence from the 17th century, a time when a belief in witchcraft caused the death of many innocent people.”
THE ATLANTIC’S HEADLINE: “I Invented Gilead. The Supreme Court Is Making It Real.”
Amid a national uproar over Alito’s leaked opinion, pro-abortion activists have once against seized on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as reimagined for a popular TV remake, to dramatize their cause.
Conservative commentators have noted that Amy Coney Barrett, one of the five justices still reportedly signed on to Alito’s opinion, reflects women’s unprecedented power in American society today.