Margaret Atwood compared forced births to “slavery” in a new essay published online on Saturday (May 7).
In excerpt from The story of the maid author’s new essay book, Burning QuestionsAtwood writes that “Women who cannot decide for themselves whether or not to have children are enslaved because the state claims ownership of their bodies and has the right to dictate the uses of their bodies.”
Atwood’s essay was published as an excerpt in The guard on Saturday, May 7, amid outrage over the likely overthrow of the US Supreme Court Deer vs Wadea landmark 1973 ruling guaranteeing the constitutional right to abortion in the country.
A first draft majority opinion was leaked on Monday (May 2) suggesting the court will overturn the decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The news was heavily criticized by politicians, activists and members of the public on social media, with a number of high-profile figures in the arts also chiming in.
In her essay, Atwood — appearing at the Santa Fe Literary Festival this month — compares forced childbirth to mandating male enlistment for military service because both pose “a risk to an individual’s life,” but notes “that being a draftee is at least provided with food, clothing and shelter.”
In fact, “even criminals in prison have a right to these things,” argues the Canadian author, adding that the state must pay to support expectant mothers and their children if they “order a forced birth.”
“But I doubt the state is willing to go so far as to provide the resources needed,” continued the Booker award winner, adding, “Instead it just wants to step up the usual cheap ploy: forcing women to have babies, and then make them pay. And pay. And pay.
“Like I said, slavery.”
Celebrities from the worlds of film, television, music and literature have reacted with outrage at the bomb leak over the US Supreme Court’s apparent decision Deer vs Wade.
family Guy‘s Seth MacFarlane pointed out on Twitter that the Supreme Court decision will be overturned Deer vs Wade would bring America closer to the dystopian state in Atwood’s best-known novel.
He wrote: “As a surprisingly partisan, right-wing dominated SCOTUS, he pushes America closer The story of the maid status, the importance of voting in EVERY election becomes even clearer. One would hope that today’s news would erase any further delusions that ‘both parties are pretty much the same’.”
Reference is also made to Questlove The story of the maid in reference to the abortion debate in the US, tweeted an image from his TV adaptation and commented: “Welp. We got through it house of cards Era…. Now we are going to visit them The story of the maid Epoch. You guys better hit the ball with those midterms smh.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-roe-v-wade-b2078474.html Margaret Atwood compares forced birth to “slavery” in Roe and Wade dispute