Pro-Abortion Author on PBS: Pro-Lifers Are Chaining Pregnant Women to Their Beds

Feminist author Margaret Atwood, on Tuesday’s Charlie Rose show, accused pro-lifers of chaining pregnant women to their beds to force them to have babies they don’t want.

Invited on the PBS show to plug her new book, The Stone Mattress, Rose asked why her 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale was still being promoted on the cover of her latest work. Atwood explained: “The Handmaid’s Tale is having a big moment on social media and elsewhere because of the various states in the United States who’ve enacted some quite strange legislation having to do with pregnant women.”

The PBS host and co-anchor of CBS This Morning wondered: “Like what? 

Atwood responded: “Like if you are pregnant and you are even suspected of possibly not wanting your baby you can be arrested and chained up to your hospital bed until you have the baby. Tennessee has just enacted legislation like that. Texas has got it. A number of them have it. And it’s all right-to-life stuff.” 

Wikipedia offers the following plot summary for the 1985 novel: 

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the near future in the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America.

Beginning with a staged terrorist attack (blamed on Islamic extremist terrorists) that kills the President and most of Congress, a movement calling itself the “Sons of Jacob” launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order. They are quickly able to take away all of women's rights, largely attributed to financial records being stored electronically and labeled by gender. The new regime moves quickly to consolidate its power and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical, compulsorily Christian regime of Old Testament-inspired social and religious ultra-conservatism among its newly created social classes. In this society, almost all women are forbidden to read.

 

 

The following is the relevant exchange from the November 11 edition of PBS’s Charlie Rose show: 

CHARLIE ROSE: This book is called Stone Mattress. Why do they always go back to the Handmaid’s Tale?  You know it looks [reading off book cover] “Margaret Atwood, author of the Handmaid’s Tale.” That’s because...

MARGARET ATWOOD: It’s having a moment right now. 

ROSE: What’s the moment? 

ATWOOD: The Handmaid’s Tale is having a big moment on social media and elsewhere because of the various states in the United States who’ve enacted some quite strange legislation having to do with pregnant women.

ROSE: Like what?

ATWOOD: Like if you are pregnant and you are even suspected of possibly not wanting your baby you can be arrested and chained up to your hospital bed until you have the baby. Tennessee has just enacted legislation like that. Texas has got it. A number of them have it. And it’s all right-to-life stuff. But that’s why The Handmaid’s Tale. I know it’s frightening. I tell them to put that at the back but they won’t do it.

ROSE: Did you see this? Look at this!

ATWOOD: Don’t put it at the front it intimidates people.

ROSE: Look at this! This is great really. You must love it because you do it so well. 

ATWOOD: I do love it. 

ROSE: And I love having you here. 

ATWOOD: Thank you.

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