Tag Archives: The Handmaids Tale

a little something for "reading" week, via Jezebel

What Does Science Fiction Tell Us About the Future of Reproductive Rights? from Jezebel.

I cannot shake the raging disbelief I’m feeling about Virginia’s proposed legislation (sorry to anyone who has talked to me in the past 72 hours, I really cannot work through it on my own, and have to rant repeatedly, incredulously, loudly, and with TMI involved).

Luckily (and I’m sure because of some effective advocacy/ranting), it seems that not everyone has lost their minds (via Ms. Magazine) and the bill won’t become real law (now, at least) (via Jezebel).

But thinking about it and following the debate certainly did make me think of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale specifically, and the unknowability of the future more generally.  And once you get to that point, “smug-canadianness” as a reaction to this kind of proposal feels terribly unsatisfying and unstable.

So, while many tactics on the anti-abortion front seem to be coming around again, or coming on stronger maybe, more inescapable, more stridently proposed, more everything, but ultimately forseeable (outright bans, permissions from family, fathers, doctors, funding withdrawals, etc), the technological possibilities involve many things which are less so. Mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds if you want an early abortion are one, as is the Texas law which tries to force women seeking abortion to listen to the fetal heartbeat (this law has survived legal challenges).  Another is the call to stop pregnancy termination where it is based in a desire to select the sex of a child (see this op-ed from the University of St. Michael’s College and E.D. of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute Dr. Moira McQueen, for instance).  Hence, the turn to art and imagination to get a fuller picture of the possibilities as science moves boldy forward (other options include taking some scientists out for lunch to chat, but hey, it’s “Reading” week!).  Thanks, I think, Jezebel.

h/t Kate Sutherland, who blogs at Osgoode’s LawArtsCulture blog.  Note that films are included in the Jezebel post. Maybe for next week? For this week, read.