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'Handmaid's Tale' author Margaret Atwood says SCOTUS is making her vision of a theocratic dictatorship real

As you certainly know, protesters gathered in front of the homes of the conservative Supreme Court justices this week. There’s video of a small group of women in “Handmaid’s Tale” cosplay marching in front of Justice Amy Coney’s home, but not much happened. Still, the handmaid costumes have been dusted off, and now The Atlantic has dusted off “Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood, who’s Canadian, to weigh in on her novel coming true.


“I thought I was writing fiction,” she says.

Wait, you say: It’s not about the organs; it’s about the babies. Which raises some questions. Is an acorn an oak tree? Is a hen’s egg a chicken? When does a fertilized human egg become a full human being or person? “Our” traditions—let’s say those of the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the early Christians—have vacillated on this subject. At “conception”? At “heartbeat”? At “quickening?” The hard line of today’s anti-abortion activists is at “conception,” which is now supposed to be the moment at which a cluster of cells becomes “ensouled.” But any such judgment depends on a religious belief—namely, the belief in souls. Not everyone shares such a belief. But all, it appears, now risk being subjected to laws formulated by those who do. That which is a sin within a certain set of religious beliefs is to be made a crime for all.

Yes, our “traditions” have vacillated. As devout Catholic President Joe Biden recently informed us, “the existence of human life and being is a question” in “all basic mainstream religions.”

And although the “hard-line” of when life begins might stand at conception, most Americans approve of abortion being legal — up to a certain point, such as the finding of a heartbeat. We can’t say it’s the hard line of the Left that a baby isn’t a baby until childbirth; all 50 Senate Democrats this week voted that abortion up until childbirth should be legal nationwide. It’s mainstream.


Let’s do it!

This editor had to read it in a class on feminist literature in college soon after it was published in 1985, and it sounded just as hysterical then.


She thought the Reagan administration was the beginning of a theocratic dictatorship in the U.S., so whatever.



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